A former Guantanamo Bay guard has issued a statement of support for Moazzam Begg who was arrested and charged with “terrorism” offences related to Syria.
Terry Holdbrooks was deployed to GITMO in June 2003 where his work with the detainees led to him accepting Islam six months into the job. He has written a book entitled Traitor? which discusses his time at GITMO and what he witnessed and did. He is currently an advocate of closing Guantanamo Bay and relinquishing the land back to Cuba.
Holdbrooks issued the following statement in support of the former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg:
“I will always be grateful that Moazzam was in GTMO when I was there. He worked as an intermediary for the guards and detainees and continually helped keep the peace. His ability to reason with the most hate filled, brainwashed and socially inept of guards was a valuable asset for everyone. It would not matter if the guard was an outright white supremacist, Moazzam could reason with them, and in doing so, he helped to keep the peace in an environment prone to unpleasant circumstances.
Being that Moazzam was a peace keeper, he was someone I could always rely on for conversation, as well as information. Moazzam was forthright in sharing with me much of the intelligence the Army had not, and in doing so, he genuinely opened my eyes to the reality of what was going on in GTMO. People like Moazzam, and many others, helped me to see the grave mistake that the “war on terror” is, as well as showed me the sincere beauty in Islam, which the Army had told me was an inherent evil in the world.
It could be argued that Moazzam is a charismatic speaker and manipulator, but I would have to reply with what wrongs has he committed? America smacked him in the face and labelled him for the rest of his life, and he returned the deed with devoting his life to helping those who are in need. Americans seem to talk about the reverence they hold for Jesus, how he always turned the other cheek and then Americans themselves seem to be incapable of doing the same. Moazzam was more of an American in mind and spirit than the individuals who were working in GTMO. He is a representation of freedom, honesty, wisdom, and diligence. I can only pray that this farce the UK is currently perpetrating against him ends quickly, with peace”.
Syria related “terrorism”
West Midlands Police arrested Begg on Tuesday 25 February on terror offences related to Syria.
He was later charged under Section 6 and Section 17 of Terrorism Act, providing training and fundraising in relation to Syria.
44-year-old Gerrie Tahari of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, was charged with facilitating terrorism overseas.
They both appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday 1 March, where supporters of Begg and human rights activists also gathered. Mr Begg and Ms Tahari denied the charges put to them and will appear next at the Old Bailey on Friday 14 March.
Birmingham student, Mouloud Tahari, 20, was also charged with funding terrorism overseas.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday 4 March, entering a not guilty plea to the charges put forward against him.
He is the third person to be charged in connection with an investigation into “Syria-related terrorism” offences.
Mr Tahari also remains in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on Friday.