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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Red Cross sees key terror inmates
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's pictures on FBI website
Alleged 9/11 kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is among those visited
Red Cross officials have for the first time visited 14 top terror suspects transferred from secret CIA jails to Guantanamo Bay, the Red Cross says.

The meetings occurred during a visit to the US naval base that has just ended.

The Red Cross delegation - which saw a total of 454 suspects detained at the facility - gave no names.

But US officials have said the 14 men previously held by the CIA include the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Also among them are alleged al-Qaeda leaders Ramzi Binalshibh and Abu Zubaydah.

Last month, President George W Bush acknowledged that the 14 had been held in clandestine detention centres, before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

Once they are in our system we are going to follow up on them all the time of their detention
Vincent Lusser

ICRC spokesman

The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been granted access to them for the first time - describing them as "some of the world's most dangerous and vicious individuals".

ICRC spokesman Vincent Lusser told Reuters news agency: "The key thing is we were able to register them, which means that once they are in our system we are going to follow up on them all the time of their detention."

He added that all the detainees had had the opportunity to send messages to their families through the Red Cross.

US officials say they are no longer holding any suspects in secret detention.

Human rights groups have called for the closure of both Guantanamo - where detainees have been held indefinitely without charge - and clandestine prisons.


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