The following transcripts are from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals at Guantanamo Bay for Jamil el Banna and Bisher al Rawi. The unredacted documents were released March 3 by the U.S. Department of Defense in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Associated Press seeking records on detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
El Banna and al Rawi were both recruited by MI5 as informants and later allegedly taken by the CIA to Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Both remain in detention in Guantanamo and have been classified as enemy combatants. Their lawyers say there is no evidence that either man posed a security risk or threat to the United States or Britain.
* Note: Both men are identified by number in the transcripts; el Banna is ISN #905 al Rawi is ISN#906.
The following documents (PDF) are declassified cables and files from MI5, the British Security Service. They were made public on Monday, March 27, as part of a lawsuit against the British government that is being heard in London. All redactions were made by the British government.
An internal MI5 document dated Oct. 31, 2002 describes efforts by the Security Service to recruit Jamil el Banna, also known as Abu Anas, as an informant. He refused. Eight days later, he and several business partners were taken into custody in the West African nation of the Gambia in an operation coordinated by MI5, the CIA and Gambian security services.
A Nov. 1, 2002 cable sent by MI5 to an unspecified foreign intelligence agency, thought to be the CIA, details the arrest at Gatwick Airport in London of Jamil el Banna and Bisher al Rawi. The electronic device in question was later determined by Scotland Yard to be a common battery charger.
A Nov. 4 cable sent by MI5 to an unspecified foreign intelligence agency, thought to be the CIA, includes more details about the upcoming business trip to Gambia as planned by Bisher al Rawi, Jamil el Banna and their business partners.
A Nov. 8, 2002 cable sent by MI5 to a foreign intelligence agency, thought to be the CIA, details the impending arrival of Bisher al Rawi, Jamil el Banna and a business partner in the Gambia. They were taken into custody upon arrival at the airport in Banjul, the Gambia.
A Nov. 11, 2002 cable sent by MI5 includes more details about the men held in detention in the Gambia. Lawyers for Jamil el Banna and Bisher al Rawi deny many of the allegations contained in the document.
A Dec. 6, 2002 cable from MI5 confirms that the British government would not offer any sort of legal assistance or protection to Banna and Rawi because they lacked British citizenship, although both had lived in the United Kingdom for many years.