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Detainee who killed himself is identified

June 01, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — The detainee who died at Guantanamo Bay in an apparent suicide was identified Thursday as a Saudi military veteran and self-described Islamic holy warrior who denied he ever intended to kill Americans.

U.S. military records show the detainee admitted having a connection to Al Qaeda but insisted he was little more than a Taliban foot soldier when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Pentagon and Saudi Arabia identified the detainee as Abdul Rahman Maadha Amry. The Pentagon said he was 34 and had been held without charges in the prison at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in southeastern Cuba since February 2002.

Amry was not breathing when he was found Wednesday by guards in Camp 5, a high-security section of Guantanamo Bay generally reserved for detainees who are considered to have intelligence value or who do not follow prison rules.

Amry was said by another detainee to have been on a hunger strike in March. Military records recently obtained by the Associated Press suggest he had also refused food in the past, with his weight dropping below 90 pounds in 2005. He weighed 150 pounds when he entered Guantanamo Bay.

A Guantanamo Bay spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Rick Haupt, said Amry was not on a hunger strike at the time of his death, but he had been force-fed with a nasal tube in the past.

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