Secret US documents released by the WikiLeaks website show how four West Midlands men were accused of having links with al-Qaeda during their detention at Guantanamo Bay.
The four, who were all held by the United States at the controversial prison in Cuba, have always strongly denied any part in terrorist activities and all were released without charge.
But the leaked documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantanamo Bay in 2003, alleged that they were “probable” or “confirmed” members of al-Qaeda.
The documents on the detainees were leaked within 700 files on Guantanamo Bay obtained by the Wikileaks website.
Three of the men, dubbed the “Tipton Taliban”, spent two years in the US camps in Cuba after they were captured in 2002 on suspicion of being part of al-Qaeda.
The men maintain that they had set off from Tipton in September 2001 for a wedding and holiday in Pakistan.
Shafiq Rasul said he had crossed into Afghanistan to use savings for humanitarian aid.
The assessment from US commanders was that Rasul was a “probable al-Qaeda recruit” who told officials that he and his friends had been “repeatedly told that it was every Muslim’s duty to fight Jihad” at a Muslim community centre in Tipton.
Asif Iqbal has also always denied any involvement in terrorism. He told his Guantanamo interrogators that he was in Pakistan for an arranged marriage by his parents.
US officials claimed that “based on the totality of evidence” he was “an al-Qaeda recruit who had travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Jihad against the US.”
Rhuhel Ahmed, the third of the Tipton three, said he was in Afghanistan and Pakistan to administer humanitarian aid.
He claimed he was tortured and mistreated whilst he was detained in Guantanamo Bay. He was accused of being in a video alongside bin Laden and Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 attacks. He said he confessed to being in the video under duress.
The assessment of him describes him as a “probable member of al-Qaeda”.
Moazzam Begg, from Sparkhill, was held in Guantanamo after he was arrested by the CIA on alleged terror offences in Pakistan in 2002.
He was accused of being a member of al-Qaeda and held at Guantanamo Bay for almost two years before being released without charge in 2005.
He has described the accusations against him as “spurious.”
The US assessment of Begg described him as “a confirmed member of al-Qaeda who poses a high threat to the US and its allies.”
None of the four could be contacted immediately for further comment.