Several Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, according to WikiLeaks documents obtained by Haaretz. The documents are published here exclusively.
The documents consist of personal dossiers of Palestinian prisoners held in Guantanamo on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaida or to radical Islamic organizations identified with al-Qaida. Some of them are diagnosed as suffering from depression and camp officials recommend supervising them closely for fear they would try to commit suicide.
The documents indicate the prisoners moved from Gaza or the West Bank to Jordan, on their way to Saudi Arabia. Some of them moved on from Saudi Arabia to Yemen and then to Pakistan and Afghanistan in search of work. At some point they came into contact with al-Qaida operatives who recruited them and persuaded them to come to Afghanistan, where they underwent military training.
Some of the prisoners told their American interrogators that they were afraid of being extradited to Israel and handed over to its security services. But after they were assured that this would not happen, they agreed to give details about themselves and even, in some cases, cooperated.
In keeping with its policy since it began publishing WikiLeaks files, Haaretz has decided not to release the names of the prisoners who cooperated with their wardens, both for the prisoners' safety and to avoid breaching U.S. national security and, indirectly, also Israel's security.
For example, the dossier of a prisoner who was born in 1980 in a village in the southern Gaza Strip says he is being held in the "high risk" division for "health reasons." The dossier describes him as suffering from personality disorders with "a long history of manipulative behavior and suicide threats."
The prisoner said in the dossier that he had traveled from Gaza - where he lived - to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where he was persuaded to join the Jihad and agreed to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He confessed his belief in radical Islamic ideology and said he was ready to sacrifice his life for the Jihad. He told his interrogators that he had undergone military training in an al-Qaida base and then moved in with other combatants, to a place in Afghanistan called "the Arab House".
Another prisoner said he had received a sum of money from his employer in Gaza to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He traveled from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and from there to Saudi Arabia and then to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Another dossier tells the story of a detainee who was born in Gaza in 1965 and was seen as a senior al-Qaida activist. "The prisoner has probably been in Osama bin Laden's company more than once," the dossier says.
The documents indicate this prisoner was in charge of managing al-Qaida's accounts for providing logistics for the organization's combatants in Tora Bora, the mountainous region in Afghanistan where bin Laden and his men holed up in the last days of the Afghanistan war.
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