Two suspected al-Qa’eda operatives released from Guantanamo Bay have walked free from court although they are still wanted in Spain on terrorism-related offences.
One of the men, who is accused of distributing extremist propaganda produced by Osama bin Laden, had half of his Â£50,000 bail surety met by the actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Her infamous “Zionist hoodlum” speech at the Oscars, 1977
Once a Nazi, always a Nazi. Redgrave doesn’t disappoint. Dreck. I like Stan’s comment,
“Vanessa Redgrave is a Trotskyist bitch. She is, or was, a leading member of the Workers Revolutionary Party. They believe in violent revolution.
She was one of the leaders of the Grosvenor Square riots, when they tried to take the US embassy in London. Many police were hurt. She should have been locked up for life.”
Jamil el-Banna, 45, who was said during a brief court hearing to have helped run a cell called the Islamic Alliance, recruiting people to fight jihad in Afghanistan and Indonesia, returned to his London home tonight.
The other man, Omar Deghayes, 38, a Libyan national freed from Guantanamo and allowed into the UK because he once lived here, is said to have had links to the same al-Qa’eda cell. He was also released on bail.
Spain issued European arrest warrants for both men within hours of their arrival in Britain last night from the Cuban detention centre. Miss Redgrave said: “It is a profound honour and I am glad to be alive to be able to do this.”
She added: “Guantanamo Bay is a concentration camp. It is a disgrace that these men have been kept there all these years.”
From left: Jamil el-Banna, Omar Deghayes, Abdennour Sameur. Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, who was also released from Guantanamo, was returned to his native Saudi Arabia
But the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard of their alleged links to al-Qa’eda, which raised fresh questions over why the British government interceded on their behalf to allow their return here from Guantanamo.
Although the men have been resident in the UK and have family here, they are not British citizens.
Previously, the Government has said it owed them no legal obligations.
Melanie Cumberland, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Mr el Banna was a Pakistani who had first come to Britain in 1994 on a false Kuwaiti passport.
Campaigners for the men, held in Guantanamo for almost five years, say they are innocent individuals kidnapped and tortured by the Americans.
* That’s why he C-word applies: Redgrave and these ‘campaigners’ are c*nts, red ratbags of the most despicable sort.
By Jane Sutton
Osama bin Laden’s driver is not a prisoner of war as defined by the Geneva Conventions and can be tried by a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal, a U.S. military judge ruled in a decision made public on Thursday.
The judge said Yemeni prisoner Salim Ahmed Hamdan is an “unlawful enemy combatant” under the law passed by Congress last year to provide a legal basis to try non-Americans on terrorism charges in a special war crimes court at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Lawyers for Hamdan, who acknowledge he earned $200 a month driving and guarding the al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, said he was a civilian support worker who should be considered a prisoner of war deserving of the safeguards outlined in the Geneva Conventions that govern the treatment of war captives.
POWs can be tried by court-martial but not in ad hoc tribunals such as those still evolving at Guantanamo. A finding that Hamdan was a POW would have raised questions about the status of many of the other 285 men held at the Guantanamo prison camp, most for more than five years.
The ruling by the military judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, clears the way for Hamdan’s trial in the Guantanamo war court, where he faces life in prison if convicted of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.
It will be the third attempt to try him after earlier charges were thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court and Allred.
The widely criticized Guantanamo court has yet to see a trial completed. The lone conviction came in a negotiated guilty plea for an Australian now nearing the end of a nine-month prison term in his homeland.
The Bush administration has long argued that the alleged al Qaeda and Taliban operatives at Guantanamo are not POWs because they are not members of the uniformed army of any nation.
CAPTURED NEAR KANDAHAR
Allred said Hamdan’s lawyers had shown no evidence that he was part of any army, militia or volunteer group granted “lawful combatant” status under the Geneva treaties, or that he played a support role for any such group.
The judge based his ruling on evidence and testimony during a hearing at Guantanamo earlier this month.
* All the more proof that the legal jihad is working against us. Enemy combatants have to be eliminated on the spot, not kept in luxury-detention with halal meals over years.