Binyam Mohamed, the former British resident who claims he was the victim of US rendition and torture, arrived back on UK soil today from Guantanamo Bay where he has been held since 2004.
The 30-year-old touched down at RAF Northolt, to the west of London, on board a chartered jet at about 1.15pm.
Appearing hunched and thin and wearing a white cap pulled down over his eyes, Mr Mohamed shambled down the aircraft steps and was met by security staff.
He was accompanied on the flight by officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter-terrorism Command, a uniformed police escort team and a doctor.
At a press conference this morning his US military lawyer, Lieutenant Colonel Yvonne Bradley, said that he was in poor physical and mental state after reportedly being on hunger strike for the past few weeks. \"I know he is fit to travel, but that is pretty much a minimum status for him,\" said Colonel Bradley.
\"I know he is going to have to put on a lot of weight as he was at least 40-50lbs underweight when I last saw him. [Recovering] mentally is going to be a longer process, given the ordeal that he has gone through.\"
In a statement released an hour earlier through his lawyers, Mr Mohamed thanked everyone in Britain who had helped to work for his release since his arrest in Pakistan in 2002, but said that his alleged betrayal by his adopted country had been hard to bear.
\"The very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence,\" said Mr Mohamed.
\"I had met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue, I later realised, had allied themselves with my abusers.\"
Mr Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 after the US began its War on Terror. He claims he was a victim of extraordinary rendition to Morocco and then to a secret US prison on Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, before being sent to Cuba.
\"I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares,\" Mr Mohamed continued.
\"Before this ordeal, 'torture' was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways — all orchestrated by the US Government.\"
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