An Islamic State fighter who carried out a suicide attack against an army base in Iraq this week was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released in 2004 and given $1.2 million in government funds in compensation after his release.
Ronald Fiddler, who converted to Islam in his 20s to become Jamal al-Harith, is a British ISIS fighter who smiled for the camera before bombing coalition forces in Mosul.
— News, Views, People. (@NVPeople) February 22, 2017
Known to his comrades as Abu-Zakariya al-Britani, he reportedly joined ISIS in 2014.
He was identified by his family after the attack on the base in Mosul. “It is him, I can tell by his smile,” Harith’s brother Leon Jameson said looking at the images released by ISIS. “If it is true then I’ve lost a brother, so another family (member) gone.”
Harith was arrested in Afghanistan because locals believed him to be a British spy. After he was recovered by American forces, he was imprisoned over concerns that he had joined up with Islamic militants.
He was released after lobbying the government of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Harith was given compensation in response to reports that he had been mistreated during his time at Guantanamo Bay.
Former Home Secretary David Blankett assessed that neither Harith nor any of the freed detainees would “actually be a threat.” Now, there are lingering fears that the money Harith was given has fallen into the hands of ISIS.
The attack on coalition forces in Mosul was carried out using an explosive-laden vehicle. ISIS claims the bombing resulted in multiple casualties.
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