Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has spoken about the torture he suffered during his incarceration at the notorious prison camp.
Mr Begg, 46, from Birmingham, revealed the details as he also attacked those responsible for the horrific attack in Pakistan which left 132 schoolchildren dead.
In a blog post on Facebook, Mr Begg said that it was now time to bring the cycle of violence to an end.
He talked about the moment when his life collapsed, as Pakistan agents, together with the CIA, “stormed” into the house he was staying in.
The raid thrust the man from Hall Green into the centre of one of the most controversial events in recent American history – the detention and torture of men at Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Begg said: “It was Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence agents who, along with the CIA stormed into my house in Islamabad in the middle of the night and carried me away, hooded and shackled in front of my children and handed me over without any judicial process to the US military in 2002. The same was done to hundreds of others, for bounty money.”
Before he was sent to the infamous facility in Cuba, Mr Begg claims he underwent terrible abuse at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.
He said: “In Bagram CIA agents waved pictures of my children in front of my face as they beat me and threatened to send me to Syria or Egypt while a woman who I thought was my wife screamed in agony in the next cell.
“I would have done anything to stop them.
“At that moment my family and children were more precious to me than theirs were to them. And they must’ve thought likewise.
“I sometimes overheard them talking to their kids, how they’d missed their birthdays because they were here in this Afghan hellhole interrogating scumbag terrorists like us.”
After Bagram, Mr Begg was sent to Guantanamo – established by then US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to detain extraordinarily dangerous persons, to interrogate “detainees” and to prosecute them for war crimes.
He spent almost three years at the military base before being released without charge.
He sued the British Government, accusing the UK authorities of being complicit in his detention – an out of court settlement reached is thought to have totalled around £1 million in compensation.
Speaking about the latest massacre in Pakistan, Mr Begg said that it was unprecedented, even for that war-torn region.
He said: “It’s not often that you’ll hear the Islamic Emirate (original Afghan Taliban) condemning their Pakistani namesakes but that is precisely what happened yesterday when the horrific attack was carried out by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on school children in the city of Peshawar. Many years ago I lived in Peshawar and I would hear about intergenerational family blood feuds which, though hard for many to understand would only extend to individuals within clans and tribes. Children were (are) sometimes abducted for ransoms even but mass-scale killing was unheard of. Today however, it’s all out, unrelenting war with no rules.
“The truth is that the lives of all our children are precious: children of ruthless politicians, children of torture victims, children of terror suspects, children of anti terror SWAT officers, children of drone operators, children of mujahideen, children of soldiers, children of judges, children of farmers and children of the homeless and the hopeless. The children of our friend and the children of our enemy are still innocent. That is why the Prophet Mohammed explicitly forbade targeting them, especially in times of war. Every law based on any aspect of human decency since concurs with this view.”
Mr Begg added: “The product of terror, torture and violence is more of the same. To end it we must stop regarding understanding and explanations of perpetrator’s actions as justification. Every crime has a motive, a mens rea behind it, even the most despicable ones. The deliberate killing of children in Peshawar was a twisted and sick act.
“But this sickness has developed as a direct result of indiscriminate killing of faceless terrorist suspects and their families.
“It is time to stop this cycle of uncontrolled rage and internecine violence that will only drive us to the pits of hell. Incessant calls for revenge each time need to be tempered with reflections on the consequences of what that means. There are no winners in this.
“Perhaps it cannot be stopped; it’s been going on for 13 years, but someone has to try. Let drone operators and pilots who drop bombs from thousands of feet on their victims see the carnage on the ground: indistinguishable body pieces in rural villages where poverty and illiteracy is still the greatest unacknowledged enemy. Let them see what their hands have caused and how the circle of violence they began with the press of a button ended with the lives of mangled bodies of men, women and innocent children. Let the murderers of children look at the corpses of the young lives they snuffed out and remember how they killed innocence and destroyed their own hereafter in the process. Before they embark on the same road to disaster let those considering this path look closely at the faces of children in their own family.
Earlier this year Mr Begg walked free from prison after seven terror charges connected to Syria against him were dropped. He had been accused of funding terrorism in Syria and of allegedly providing terrorist training and instruction.