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Two British residents held at Guantanamo say UK assisted capture

[JURIST] Lawyers for two long-time British residents seized by the US and detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] claim to have documents that indicate British officials prompted their arrests while withholding information that would have aided the two men. Bisher al-Rawi [Cageprisoners profile], an Iraqi who had lived in Britain for 20 years, and Jordanian refugee Jamil el-Banna [Cageprisoners profile] are alleged to have ties with terrorism through their connection with a radical Muslim cleric based out of London. The men were first detained at a British airport in 2002, and British intelligence alerted the US that they had with them a device that could have been used as part of an improvised bomb. The men were released after the incident was cleared, but US officials were not informed. Instead, UK intelligence provided the US with details of their travel plans in Gambia, in what the detainees' lawyers say led to their extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive].

Last week the British government said it would take up the case [JURIST report] of Bisher al-Rawi after claiming without elaboration that his circumstances were different than Jamil el-Banna or certain other British detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. In response to growing concern [JURIST report] over the status of the British residents being held at the US facility, Prime Minister Tony Blair recently suggested [AFP report] that it might be prudent for the US to close the prison. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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