Terrorist 'Hero Photos' - Courtesy of the Int'l Red Cross
Photos of arch terrorist Ramzi Binalshibh taken by a delegation of the International Red Cross (ICRC) in his prison cell at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have shown up on the Internet – to the delight of supporters of Al-Qaida and other terror groups.
The photographs of the detainees that were taken by the ICRC are now the property of the families to whom they were sent,' an ICRC spokesman said.
The photos were first discovered by Evan Kohlmann, a U.S. counterterrorism expert and NBC News analyst, on several web sites frequented by supporters of Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
In the photos, Binalshibh, one of the main plotters of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is seen looking “cheerful, pious and self-satisfied,” and very “pleased with himself,” Kohlmann told NBC news. "These photographs are perfect for propaganda — they show Binalshibh exactly as al-Qaida would want him to be," he added. Binalshibh is smiling in many of the photos, and in others he is seen praying, or holding a Quran.
On one site, the al Fallajuh Islamic Forum, the photos contained captions and posts that said, among other things, that the photos were “a gift to every Mujahid for the cause of Allah. A picture for one of the heroes of the Eleventh in Guantanamo Prison.” Another comment stated that Binalshibh “is not smiling to the person with the camera but smiling at us as he knew that the picture will reach his brothers in Allah."
A spokesperson for the ICRC confirmed to NBC that the photos had been taken by a delegation of humanitarian workers who visited Guantanamo last year. They were sent to his family, the organization said. Generally, photography is forbidden at high-security facilities like Guantanamo, a officials told NBC – and that was especially true in “Camp 7,” where the most notorious security prisoners, like Binalshibh, are usually held, and which is off-limits to non-military personnel. However, the U.S. Defense Department has an arrangement with the ICRC that allows photos to be taken and sent to prisoners' families. Once the photos are sent to the families, Tanya Bradsher, a Defense Department spokesperson told NBC, “we have no control over what the families do with them.”
Responding to a request for more information by NBC, an ICRC official replied that the organization takes the photos for family members who often have not seen their loved ones for years. Many of the 9/11 detainees in Guantanamo have been there for six or seven years. “The photographs of the detainees that were taken by the ICRC are now the property of the families to whom they were sent," the ICRC spokesman said. "As we consider the exchange of letters and photographs between individual detainees and their families to be private correspondence, we are not at liberty to comment on details concerning Mr Binalshibh. Obviously, it is up to the family to decide now whether or not they want to make any of this correspondence public.”