A veteran military interrogator said Guantanamo detainee and British resident Binyam Mohamed cooperated in a terror probe after he was captured and insisted he never witnessed the prisoner being abused, according to an affidavit released Wednesday.
Binyam Mohamed, who is now at the center of an effort by Britain to have him freed from Guantanamo, has previously said he was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and was flown by the U.S. to Morocco, where he was tortured.
The senior U.S. Army interrogator, in an affidavit filed in federal court in Washington, said he first met Mohamed in 2004 at Bagram Air Base, a U.S. detention center in Afghanistan — after the alleged rendition to Morocco.
The interrogator, whose name was redacted from the court document, said he quickly established a friendly relationship with Mohamed, and that he freely gave detailed descriptions of abandoned terrorist training camps and helped identify individuals.
Mohamed was later transferred to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the supervisory special agent of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division continued to meet with him and developed such a close relationship they exchanged hugs, according to the affidavit. The 19-page statement provides a rare look at tactics that some interrogators employ.
But Mohamed's lawyers say interrogators also used other means — including torture — in attempt to obtain information from the suspected al-Qaida member.
A written account provided to The Associated Press by Muhammad's civilian lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, in 2006 details Mohamed's allegations of torture in Morocco while "directly or indirectly" in the custody of the United States. He alleges, among other things, that he was lacerated and given mind-altering drugs.
His torturers applied sleep deprivation, beat him and sliced Muhammad's penis with a scalpel, according to the detainee's account.
"One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists," Stafford Smith quoted Muhammad as saying.
After 18 months "in appalling conditions," Mohamed was flown to a CIA black site known as the "Dark prison" in Afghanistan, where he was abused, his lawyers say. He was later taken to Bagram, and then to Guantanamo.