[JURIST] Detainees at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have used items found in their cells to attack military guards hundreds of times, according to Pentagon memos [DOD materials] released through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative legal group Landmark Legal Foundation [advocacy website]. The Defense Department documented more than 440 reports of detainee attacks on guards at an average of three incidents per week from December 2002 through July 2005. The number of attacks increased dramatically in July 2005 when dozens of detainees began a hunger strike [JURIST report], and attacks also tend to increase during the Christmas season. Detainees also reportedly pretended to commit suicide in a bid to lure guards into their cell to attack them on the same day that three detainees hung themselves in their cells [JURIST report] in June.
Guantanamo executive officer Lt. Col. Michael J. Nicolucci noted that many of the detainees have been in the camp since it opened in 2002, and they have learned the prison procedures and "try to turn them against" the guards at the prison. Although the incident reports shed light on the environment inside Guantanamo, the names of all guards and detainees involved in the attacks were redacted from the documents, making it impossible to know if attacks were widespread throughout the prison, or a result of a small group of detainees. AP has more.