South Carolina Brig Housed Terror Detainees for Many Years
But governer objects to possibility of Gitmo transfers
The Pentagon is considering Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and a U.S. Navy brig near Charleston, South Carolina as possible recipients of war-on-terror detainees that the military wants to transfer out of the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. U.S. president Barack Obama, a Democrat, is eager to end Gitmo’s role in housing terror suspects.
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, objects to bringing detainees to the southern state. “We are absolutely drawing a line that we are not going to allow any terrorist to come into South Carolina,” Haley said. “We are not going to allow that kind of threat, we are not going to allow that kind of character to come in.”
But the high-tech S.C. brig, which boasts the latest biometric security measures, has housed terror suspects before. At least three of them — “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla; Ali Saleh Al Marri, a Qatari arrested in the United States as an alleged Al-Qaeda associate; plus one unnamed suspect. The Charleston Post and Courier newspaper explained:
The two men were among at least three terror detainees known to have been housed at the brig during the early part of the post-9/11 war on terror. All three men arrived as the fight geared up and before Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, became the prime holding prison.
The Department of Justice transferred Padilla to a Colorado prison in or around 2008. Al Marri, pictured in the Red Cross photo at top, wound up in Colorado, too — but not before military or intelligence personnel in Charleston tortured him, Andy Savage, his attorney told Post and Courier:
For instance, he said Al Marri faced hostile environment techniques in his cell to include light, warmth and clothing depravations, sensory blinding and dry-boarding, in which a dry cloth was taped over his mouth to simulate choking. “It happened here, it happened in Charleston, South Carolina,” Savage said.
Al Marri was repatriated to Qatar in January 2015.