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Freed detainees arrested in uk


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The last Britons held at the US jail for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay arrived home today to face immediate arrest by British police under domestic anti-terrorism laws.

A Royal Air Force C-17 transport plane carrying the four men touched down at the RAF Northolt base in west London just after 5pm, and they were immediately whisked off in a police convoy.

London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement it had arrested Moazzam Begg, Richard Belmar, Martin Mubanga and Feroz Abbasi while they were still sitting on the stationary plane.

They were held under a section of Britain's Terrorism Act 2000 "which refers to the alleged involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism", police said.

Their arrest had been widely expected, but it still comes as a blow to relatives and supporters who have insisted the men, who were detained without trial at the US base in Cuba for up to three years, are completely innocent.

Britain's top anti-terrorist policeman, Detective Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, said today his force had discussed the case with Muslim groups and recognised there were "strong feelings" about the case.

"But the fact is that we have an absolute duty on behalf of all communities to investigate the circumstances leading to the men's detention," he said, insisting they would be treated "properly and fairly".

While the men might face domestic charges, it is also possible they could be released within hours.

Five other British men who were freed from Guantanamo Bay last March were formally arrested by police but quizzed only briefly before being allowed to go home.

Officials would not comment on their plans today, but the men's lawyers said they had been told to meet their clients at London's top security Paddington Green police station, the usual holding point for terrorism suspects.

A group of protesters shouting for the men's release were gathered outside the police station this evening.

Begg, 36, Mubanga, 31, and Belmar and Abbasi, both 25, were all arrested in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or had visited there previously, and US authorities have linked them to al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

However, the men's lawyers insist they are innocent, saying today that they should be set free without delay given their after alleged mistreatment in US custody.

"They suffered horrendously," Clive Stafford-Smith, who represents Begg and Belmar, told AFP.

"Given what they've been through, they've held up as well as can be expected but they're victims of torture and torture victims suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)," he said.

All four men had spent at least some of their detention in solitary confinement, said Stafford-Smith and lawyer Louise Christian, who represents the other pair, with Begg and Abbassi enduring it for nearly two years.

Christian told AFP she was "apprehensive" about her clients' health.

"Martin Mubanga has written letters alleging extremes of hot and cold, being deprived of basic sanitary items, such as toilet paper and toothpaste," she said.

Mubanga had also complained of having been "shackled to the ground for hours at a time and being forced to defecate or urinate on the floor," Christian said. "And Feroz Abbasi has alleged religious and sexual humiliation."

US authorities have repeatedly denied mistreating any prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Although any trial in Britain would prove controversial, the men's return brings to an end a difficult standoff between the United States and its closest ally in the Iraq war and the "war on terror".

After reportedly pushing strongly in private for the men to be freed, the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair handed Washington a stiff rebuke in June.

Proposed military tribunals for some Guantanamo prisoners did not "offer sufficient guarantees of a fair trial in accordance with international standards", British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith said.

Despite the new arrests, today will bring some relief to the detainees' families.

Begg's father Azmat said he had mixed feelings.

"When I think of his condition, I feel sad, when I think that I will see him, I feel happy," he told BBC radio.

Begg, Abbasi and Belmar were all arrested either in Afghanistan or Pakistan during 2001 and 2002, while Mubanga was picked up in Zambia, having been in Afghanistan previously.


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A house,money ,a job,sue britian useing legal aid,plot more sinester crimes

Welcome to soft Britian...roll out the red carpet...IT MAKES ME SICK ,and ashamed to be British no.gif

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You do realise....they were found they had nothing to be charged with, meaning they arent guilty of anything right?

Anyway, most countries have put in place in their constitution that you cannot sue over the anti terrorism laws.....

Kinda sucks if you were in there for 3 years, did nothing wrong got let out and had a morgage huh....

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So, will they be enjoying the accomedations on the Isle of Wight?

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Feroz Abbasi

I went to school with that guy, he was a pretty nice guy... dunno what made him make the decisions he did

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actually the reason why the US let them go free of charge is most likely that it didn't have the laws in place to convict them, its pretty much certain that these tards where over in afghanistan working in some capacity for either the Taliban or Alqueda, and people still see fit to defend them, oh well:)

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A house,money ,a job,sue britian useing legal aid,plot more sinester crimes

Welcome to soft Britian...roll out the red carpet...IT MAKES ME SICK ,and ashamed to be British no.gif


My thoughts exactly. thumbsup.gif

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Yes, Im sure that there are guilty men there however not all were captured fighting....

"There are a lot of guilty [people] in there," said one officer, "but there's a lot of farmers in there too."


as well as stuff such as:

The returned men say there are three kinds of people being held at Camp Delta: real fighters, those forced to fight and innocent Afghans who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.


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