A former Guantánamo guard who had flown to the UK to address a support group for inmates of the camp is to be deported back to the US this morning after being denied entry on arrival at Heathrow airport yesterday.
Terry Holdbrooks, who has been an outspoken critic of the US government over the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo, said that immigration officials told him he was being refused entry because he was unemployed and living in rented accommodation in the US, raising suspicions he would not leave the UK. The former soldier, who converted to Islam after discussions with prisoners at Guantánamo, was due to address a meeting tonight by Cageprisoners, a support group that had paid for his ticket.
Holdbrooks told the Observer that he had also been detained and questioned by US airport officials on Thursday, as he attempted to complete the first stage of his journey by air via Arizona and Minnesota.
Six Islamic fanatics recorded violent martyrdom videos as they prepared a terrorist attack on transatlantic aircraft, a court heard today. The gang’s leader told Western leaders to “stop meddling in our affairs” or body parts will be left “decorating the streets”, a jury heard. Another alleged bomber’s video message appeared to address the British public, accusing them of being too busy watching EastEnders and Home And Away to “care about anything”. Prosecutors said defendant Abdulla Ahmed Ali was willing to carry a home-made liquid bomb aboard a flight to north America and detonate it himself. Ali is one of eight men on trial accused of conspiring to murder and to endanger aircraft at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London. They deny the charges. Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said the gang considered other targets in addition to at least seven flights leaving from London Heathrow airport within hours of each other. He said there was evidence Canary Wharf, a gas pipeline between Belgium and the UK, chemical companies, oil refineries and other UK airports were possible targets. The jury also heard how the gang stockpiled materials for their home-made liquid devices which were to be smuggled on to aircraft disguised as 500ml soft drinks.