Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

At a glance: Guantanamo Britons

At least 14 British residents have been held in the controversial Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba. Now Binyam Mohamed has been released, the Foreign Office maintains just one UK resident is still imprisoned there. But there is a dispute over whether some other detainees are also British residents.

Binyam Mohamed from west London, UK resident

Binyam Mohamed al Habashi was born in Ethiopia on 24 July 1978. In 1994 he arrived in the UK and sought asylum on the basis of his family's opposition to the Ethiopian government.

Binyam Mohamed
Mr Mohamed, a British resident, claims he was tortured

In 2001 - the year he converted to Islam - Mr Mohamed travelled to Pakistan, and then Afghanistan.

According to Mr Mohamed, he wanted to kick a drug habit and get away from familiar haunts in London, but US authorities said he fought alongside the Taleban and received firearms and explosives training.

In February 2009 it was confirmed he would be released. He claims he was tortured into falsely confessing to terrorism and alleges MI5 officers were complicit in his abuse.

Jamil el-Banna, from north-west London, UK resident

Jamil el-Banna, a mechanic, is a Jordanian with refugee status in the UK.

Jamil el-Banna
Jamil el-Banna did not met his youngest daughter until his release

He was detained in Cuba in early 2003 following capture in Gambia in November 2002.

He came back to the UK in December 2007 where he was reunited with his family, including a four-year-old daughter that he met for the first time. She had been born after he was detained.

On his return he was arrested, following a Spanish extradition request, but this charge was dropped in 2008.

Omar Deghayes, from Brighton, UK resident

Libyan-born Omar Deghayes was granted refugee status with his family in the 1980s.

Omar Deghayes
Omar Deghayes had studied law in the UK before travelling to Afghanistan

He grew up in Brighton, was privately educated and studied law at British universities.

But he dropped out of university and travelled to Afghanistan, where he married and fathered a son.

Mr Deghayes was arrested in Pakistan shortly after the fall of the Taleban and was transferred to Cuba.

He returned to the UK in December 2007, where he was arrested, along with Jamil el-Banner, under a Spanish warrant. But the charges were dropped in March 2008.

Abdenour Sameur, from south Harrow, London, UK resident

Abdenour Sameur is an Algerian army deserter who came to Britain in 1999 and was later granted refugee status.

Abdenour Sameur
Abdenour Sameur found it hard to live in the UK as a good Muslim

He lived in south Harrow, London.

Mr Sameur was given leave to remain in the UK but travelled to Afghanistan because he found it hard to live as a "good Muslim" in Britain.

He was arrested in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan while in the company of a group of Arabs.

He returned to the UK in December 2007.

Bisher Al Rawi, from south-west London, UK resident

Bisher Al Rawi came to the UK with his family when he was 16, fleeing Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

Bisher Al Rawi
Bisher Al Rawi had his own engineering business

He never applied for British citizenship in the hope that he could return to Iraq to reclaim his family's land.

Having studied engineering at university, he went on to run his own business in south-west London.

In 2002, Mr Al Rawi was arrested in the Gambia along with his friend Jamil el-Banna.

He was reunited with his family in the UK in April 2007.

Feroz Abbasi, from south London, UK national

Born in Uganda, he moved to Britain with his family when he was eight.

Feroz Abassi
Feroz Abassi was held in December 2001

His mother said he converted to Islam after a mugging. He became more fervent, and his family last saw him in 2000 as he was leaving for Afghanistan.

He was reportedly detained by US forces in December 2001, in Kunduz in the north of the country.

He was released from Guantanamo in January 2005.

Moazzam Begg, from Birmingham, UK national

Moazzam Begg used to run a bookshop in Birmingham selling religious and historical texts. But after moving his family to Afghanistan he was arrested by the CIA in February 2002 while in the Pakistani capital Islamabad and held on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.

Moazzam Begg
Moazzam Begg has campaigned against Guantanamo since his release

He has always maintained that he was in the city on charity business and that he has never been involved in any kind of terrorist activity.

Mr Begg was held for a year at an airbase in Afghanistan before being sent to Cuba in the spring of 2003 and was not released until January 2005. He has been heavily involved in the campaign against Cuba and published his memoirs in 2006.


Richard Belmar, from north London, UK national

Mr Belmar attended a Catholic school in north London, and, following his elder brother, converted to Islam in his teens.

Richard Belmar
Richard Belmar converted to Islam in his teens

He travelled to Pakistan before the attacks of 11 September 2001. US authorities claim he was captured at an al-Qaeda safe house there, and he was held by Pakistani authorities before being moved to Cuba.

In January 2005 he was released, and freed without charge in Britain after being questioned by anti-terror police.

Martin Mubanga, from north London, UK national

Mr Mubanga's family moved to the UK from Zambia in the 1970s, and he holds dual citizenship. He is a former motorcycle courier and was raised as a Catholic before converting to Islam in his twenties.

Martin Mubanga
Martin Mubanga was detained in Zambia

He visited Pakistan in 2000, but said he was unable to return to the UK because he had lost his British passport, and was travelling on his Zambian passport instead. He was held in Zambia and handed over to the Americans.

Mr Mubanga was sent to Guantanamo, where he says he was tortured. His release came in January 2005.

Shafiq Rasul, from Tipton, West Midlands, UK national

Mr Rasul's family insisted that he grew up as a as a shy, "westernised", Black Country lad who condemned the 11 September attacks.

Shafiq Rasul
Shafiq Rasul was one of the so-called "Tipton Three"

In October 2001 he travelled to Pakistan, apparently for a Microsoft computer course as it was cheaper than the UK equivalent.

But he was seized in Afghanistan on suspicion of being a terrorist and taken to Guantanamo. He was dubbed one of the so-called "Tipton Three".

Released in 2004, he launched a $10m lawsuit against the US government.

Asif Iqbal, from Tipton, West Midlands, UK national

Mr Iqbal grew up in Tipton just streets away from Mr Rasul, and the pair both studied at the Alexandria High School and Sixth Form Centre.

Asif Iqbal
Asif Iqbal wrote to President Bush about his time in Guantanamo

He left school at age 16 to work in a factory. It was at his family's suggestion that Asif went to Pakistan, and his father, Mohammed, accompanied him; but after meeting his bride-to-be he told his father he wanted some time to think and went to Karachi. He was detained in Northern Afghanistan.

After their release in March 2004, Mr Iqbal and Mr Rasul sent an open letter to President Bush detailing the alleged abuse they suffered at Guantanamo.

Ruhal Ahmed, from Tipton, West Midlands, UK national

A keen kick-boxer and a practising Muslim, Mr Ahmed's family described him as "a very friendly boy" who took a part time job in a local factory and also helped in community centres after leaving school.

Ruhal Ahmed
Ruhal Ahmed's story was told as part of the film The Road to Guantanamo

The third child in a family of six - two girls and four boys - his father was a British citizen who moved to the UK from what is now Bangladesh. Mr Ahmed travelled to Pakistan in 2001 with Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal. He was held by American forces in Kandahar in Afghanistan before being sent to Cuba, where he was held until 2004.

Along with other members of the "Tipton Three" his life story formed the basis for Michael Winterbottom's film, The Road to Guantanamo.

Tarek Dergoul, from east London, UK national

A former care worker for the elderly in east London, Mr Dergoul is the son of a Moroccan baker and a lifelong Muslim. He originally told his family he was flying to Pakistan in 2001 to learn Arabic.

It is believed he was captured in the Tora Bora mountains to which the Taleban had fled after the US military onslaught and taken to Guantanamo, where he stayed until 2004.

In 2007, he launched a civil action against MI5 and MI6, who he argued were aware he was being tortured.

Jamal Udeen, from Manchester, UK national

Born Ronald Fiddler to devout churchgoing Jamaican parents, Udeen converted to Islam in his 20s.

Jamal Udeen
Jamal Udeen had travelled to Pakistan to study Muslim culture

The father-of three had been away from home only three weeks when he was captured. He said he travelled to Pakistan to study Muslim culture, but was taken prisoner after straying into Afghanistan by mistake.

After his release in 2004, he told the Daily Mirror that US guards at the camp in Cuba tortured and abused him.

Shaker Aamer, from London, UK resident

Shaker Abdur-Raheem Aamer, originally from Saudi Arabia, had been living in the UK since 1996.

Shaker Aamer
Shaker Aamer with his daughter Johina and son Michel

He is reported to have travelled to Afghanistan in August 2001 to carry out voluntary charity work when he was captured.

Mr Aamer had been applying for citizenship and had indefinite leave to stay in the UK when he was captured.

He lived in London with his wife and three children, all British citizens, and worked as an interpreter for a firm of solicitors.

A fourth child has been born since his capture.

Mr Aamer is still being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Other disputed detainees

Ahmed Belbacha, from Algeria, came to the UK in the late 1990s where he applied for asylum. While his appeal was pending he travelled to Pakistan where he was arrested and transferred to Guantanamo Bay. Because he was not formally a British resident, the UK government says it cannot intervene on his behalf.

There is also a difference of opinion surrounding Farhi Saheed Bin Mohammed, an Algerian citizen, who is still being held at Guantanamo. Legal charity Reprieve claims that he was working in Europe and had lived in the UK. But whilst the foreign office acknowledges this claim, a spokesperson said that it has nothing to confirm this was the case.



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