Independant Journalist | 18.03.2004 09:57 | Terror War
All Deny any involvement with terror groups. But alarming new evidence proves otherwise
In a detailed letter by Lee McClenny a Whitehouse official he wrote: “One of the five trained with an AK-47 and pistol at an al-Qaeda safe house in Kabul in September 2001.” The man, he said, was a “weapons-carrying fighter” at Tora Bora, the infamous stronghold where terror chief Osama Bin Laden hid from coalition forces including the SAS. Mr McClenny continued: “This person was wounded in battle with Coalition forces and was subsequently captured in the Tora Bora mountains. “Two of the others trained for 40 days in September-October 2000 at a military camp in Afghanistan, learning to shoot a Kalashnikov, and observing hand grenade, landmine and rocket grenade demonstrations.
“These two and a third returned to Afghanistan shortly after September 11 2001 to fight jihad with the Taliban. They lived in caves for several weeks and were issued Kalashnikovs and ammunition. They stayed with their unit, commanded by a known Taliban leader, for three weeks and were captured near Konduz.” Mr McLenny also wrote: “One of the individuals states he considers the UK and US governments to be his enemies and travelled to Afghanistan after 9/11 for an organisation known to be associated with al-Qaeda. “He also associated with al-Qaeda extremists in the UK.”
The details emerged as Met police chief Sir John Stevens warned a Madrid-style bombing is “inevitable” in Britain. The released Brits are selling their stories to sympathetic newspapers for up to £1million.
The men will need round-the-clock surveillance costing £1million a year. American administration officials were astonished that Britain released them without charge. Mr Blunkett publicly insisted the four posed “no threat” to the British public. But in private, he and other ministers warned they should not have been set free. American sources, backed by unimpeachable British intelligence, have also rejected allegations of torture of the detainees in Guantanamo as “total fabrications”.