The US reason for Shaker Aamer's prolonged detainment, according to WikiLeaks

Published November 2nd, 2015 - 10:59 GMT
A protestor holds up a sign calling for the release of Shaker Aamer from the US Guantanamo Bay military prison. (AFP/File)
A protestor holds up a sign calling for the release of Shaker Aamer from the US Guantanamo Bay military prison. (AFP/File)

After 13 years of incarceration, Saudi national Shaker Aamer was released from Guantanamo Bay on Friday. But the US may not have seen the last of him — his lawyer says he's suffering severe PTSD and plans to take legal action.

A UK resident before his arrest, now-48-year-old Aamer returned to his family in Britain over the weekend. It took eight more years for him to be released from Guantanamo after the US admitted there was no case against him in 2007. So the question is what security concerns the US had that would keep a man without charges in a prison for nearly another decade.

WikiLeaks released the classified Guantanamo file on Aamer that revealed the thoughts surrounding his prolonged detainment; they have since been discredited. But for those wondering what caused Aamer's imprisonment, and what the US was wrong about, there's still a lot to learn from the document.

The US report says he worked for an al-Qaeda cell in the UK and moved to Afghanistan to help fight with the group there. Ultimately, his evaluation as a "high risk" was summarized by this: 

Detainee is uncooperative and continues to withhold information of intelligence value about his extremist activities and associations.
Detainee has failed to fully account for his travels and high level associates which have been reported by other JTF-GTMO detainees. Detainee is extremely egotistical, has manipulated debriefers and guard staff, and will continue to attempt to do so to support his political agenda. Detainee refuses to participate in direct questioning, often citing imaginary, or assumed mistreatment of himself, or others, as justification of this refusal in a classic example of al-Qaeda counter interrogation techniques. 
 
While it's said there have been a lot of inaccuracies in the leaked Guantanamo report, some questions are still left unanswered — why he moved to Afghanistan, had so many ties to known al-Qaeda members, had shared al-Qaeda contacts with other detainees, and made so many short trips that were difficult to track. 
 
But if Aamer's claims on torture, mistreatment and forced confession hold any merit, those questions might be irrelevant.
 
Read the full WikiLeaks report here
 
By Hayat Norimine
 

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