Former Guantanamo detainee carried out attack in Iraq: US

Other News Materials 8 May 2008 03:47 (UTC +04:00)

A Kuwaiti man who spent more than three years locked up at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison facility carried out a suicide attack in Iraq last week, the US military confirmed Wednesday.

Abdullah Salih al-Ajmi participated in one of several suicide bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that combined to kill more than six people, the military said.

Navy Commander Scott Rye, a military spokesman in Baghdad, confirmed in an email that al-Ajmi was among the attackers, the dpa reported.

"It is unknown what motivated him to leave Kuwait and go to Iraq," Rye said. "His family members reportedly were shocked to hear he had conducted a suicide bombing."

Al-Ajmi was released from Guantanamo in 2005 and returned to Kuwait. The United States currently holds 270 detainees in Guantanamo, most of them captured in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Al-Ajmi was considered an enemy combatant during his stay in Guantanamo, but was among the hundreds of detainees who had been repatriated to their native countries by the Pentagon.

The Pentagon has identified 37 former Guantanamo detainees, including al-Ajmi, suspected of returning to terrorism or carrying out suicide attacks after their release, a defence official said.

"Our reports indicate that a number of former ( Guantanamo) detainees have taken part in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention," Commander Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said. "Some have subsequently been killed in combat and participated in suicide bomber attacks."

Rye said that al-Ajmi entered Iraq through Syria, which has been the focus of US allegations that it has done little to prevent militants from crossing its border into Iraq.