Taliban leader’s death by exercise reduces dwindling Gitmo population

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Suspected Taliban leader Awal Gul died at Guantanamo Bay after exercising on an elliptical machine Tuesday night.

According to a military spokesperson, “He went to go take a shower and apparently collapsed in the shower… Detainees on the cellblock then assisted him in getting to the guard station.”

Gul’s death comes after more than eight years of detention at the prison.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a group that has assisted in the defense of Guantanamo Bay inmates, said that Gul’s death signifies that Guantanamo is a location where “Muslim men are held indefinitely until they die because the president lacks political courage to release or charge them in any forum.”

The organization claims that charges against Gul were bogus, writing, “These claims were likely coerced out of Mr. Gul or others, and would likely collapse under judicial review.”

Gul was believed to have assisted Osama Bin Laden’s escape from the siege of Tora Bora. He reportedly confessed to a military tribunal that he had been a Taliban commander.

Prior to the death, only 173 inmates remained in detention at Guantanamo Bay.