The Guantánamo Files: Additional Chapters Online – Escape to Pakistan (The Yemenis)


The Guantanamo FilesI’ve just posted the fifth of 12 additional online chapters supplementing my book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press/the University of Michigan Press). This chapter features stories that I could not include in the book, either for reasons of space (to keep the book at a manageable length) or, in some cases, because the information was not available at the time of writing.

For the majority of the prisoners, it is the first time that their stories have been presented in public, and although my information is generally limited to what has been made available by the Pentagon, it remains a serious indictment of the US administration that, nearly seven years after their capture, their stories are coming to light for the first time.

This additional chapter complements Chapter 6 of The Guantánamo Files, looking at the stories of 20 Yemeni prisoners not mentioned in the book. They were amongst the 250 or so prisoners (almost a third of Guantánamo’s entire population) who were captured crossing from Afghanistan to Pakistan in December 2001. This chapter also complements the previous online chapter, in which I looked at the stories of the Saudis captured at the same time.

In many ways it is more significant than the previous chapter, because, although the circumstances in which the Saudis and the Yemenis were captured are remarkably similar — and both groups were a mixture of Taliban foot soldiers (unconnected to 9/11 or al-Qaeda) and innocent men (humanitarian aid workers, missionaries, and others in the wrong place at the wrong time) — the majority of the Yemenis are still languishing at Guantánamo, while the majority of the Saudis have been repatriated to take part in a successful rehabilitation program.

This is also an anniversary of sorts, as this is my 300th post since I first began blogging about Guantánamo last May. My thanks, as ever, to my readers, and to the various websites who support my work — in particular,, the Huffington Post, CounterPunch, AlterNet, Cageprisoners and ZNet. If you’re new to the site, an introduction to what it’s all about is here, and you can also navigate via “Categories” in the right-hand column. If you like what you see, please sign up for the RSS feed in the left-hand column, tell your friends, buy the book, and feel free to send me comments.

Note: The first three additional online chapters are available here, here and here, and see the left-hand column for the other seven.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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