Former President Barack Obama desperately wanted part of his legacy to include the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp inside the US Naval base off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detention center was opened in 2002 by former President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9-11.
At the time of its creation, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld said its purpose was to detain and interrogate ‘extraordinarily dangerous people’ and to prosecute detainees for war crimes.
According to The Sun, George W. Bush’ successor, Barack Obama, promised to close the camp in 2009, calling it a “sad chapter in American history”.
But he faced strong opposition from Congress and succeeded only in reducing the number of inmates from 245 to around 40, as detainees were either freed or transferred to other countries.
Since his election in 2016, Donald Trump has vowed to keep the prison open and use it to detain “bad dudes”.
He has also stated he would happily use torture against inmates.
He said: “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding… Don’t tell me it doesn’t work—torture works… if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing to us. We have to fight fire with fire.”
On September 17, 2016, Ahmad Khan Rahimi was arrested and charged in a 2016 pressure cooker bombing in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Instead of placing Rahimi in a Guantanamo Bay prison cell, he was placed in an American prison and allowed to keep and use his laptop to radicalize fellow prisoners with Islamic terror propaganda.
According to CNN, the man convicted in the 2016 bombing in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 30 people has been trying to radicalize other inmates, federal prosecutors say.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi also told a judge he is on a hunger strike.
Rahimi provided inmates with copies of terrorist propaganda and jihadist materials, including speeches by Osama Bin Laden and the late militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, bomb-making instructions, books on jihad and issues of the al Qaeda-backed magazine Inspire, prosecutors said.
Rahimi “has been attempting to radicalize fellow inmates in the Metropolitan Correction Center by, among other things, distributing propaganda and publications issued by terrorist organizations,” according to a letter from Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim to US District Judge Richard Berman.
Rahimi let other inmates view the items on his laptop and gave them electronic copies, Kim’s letter said. Discs of the materials were found in two inmates’ possession.
Defense attorneys for Rahimi have yet to respond to the allegations.
Prosecutors said Rahimi began distributing these materials in October if not earlier. Rahimi was convicted October 16 on eight federal charges in connection with the Chelsea bombing.
Among the inmates Rahimi gave the materials to, prosecutors say, is Sajmir Alimehmeti, who is scheduled to go on trial next month on terrorism-related charges.
Rahimi was arrested and charged after a pressure cooker bomb went off in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood on September 17, 2016. A second pressure cooker bomb was found a few blocks away, on 27th Street, but didn’t detonate.
Earlier the same day, a bomb went off near the start of a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park, New Jersey.
After a two-week trial and roughly four hours of jury deliberation, Rahimi was convicted of charges including the use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destroying property by means of fire or explosives, and using a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence.
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence — including DNA and fingerprints — linking Rahimi to the bombs that were placed in New Jersey and New York.
Rahimi faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, according to an earlier statement from Kim.
Rahimi faces separate charges in other jurisdictions in connection with the bomb that went off in Seaside Park, a backpack containing improvised explosive devices found the following day at a transit station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and a shootout he had with police before being taken into custody.