Foreign Policy

Islamic State Built 'Gitmo' Jail To Torture People, Ex-Hostage Claims

| by Michael Allen
Guantanamo Bay.Guantanamo Bay.

The Islamic State group has created its own U.S.-style "Guantanamo Bay" compound to mentally torture people being held there, claims an ex-hostage.

Former hostage and Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa recently wrote of his hostage experience in Spain's El Mundo newspaper, noted AFP.

Espinosa, who was kidnapped on Sept. 16, 2013 and released on March 29, 2014, said the Gitmo-style jail in Syria held up to 23 hostages from 11 Western countries.

According to Espinosa, the hostages were subjected to fake executions by their Islamic State captors, which sound eerily similar to what the CIA did to detainees, noted The Guardian in 2009.

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According to The Scotsman, Espinosa wrote:

"The Beatles — that was our nickname for the three British militants guarding us — loved this sort of theater. They had me sat on the floor, barefoot, with a shaven head, a thick beard and dressed in the "orange uniform" that had made Guantanamo, the American prison, famous.

"'Jihadi John' wanted maximum drama. He had brought along an antique sword of the kind Muslim armies used in the Middle Ages. It was a blade of almost a meter in length with a silver handle.

"He caressed my neck with the blade but kept talking: "Feel it? Cold, isn’t it? Can you imagine the pain you’ll feel when it cuts? Unimaginable pain." After finishing with the sword he holstered his pistol, a Glock. He placed it against my head and pulled the trigger three times. Click. Click. Click. It’s called a mock execution. But not even this terrifying intimidation seemed to satisfy them."

AFP notes that Espinosa recalled how hostages were forced to look at pictures of executed Russian engineer Sergei Gorbunov.

"You may wind up like him," Espinosa quoted an ISIS guard. "Or maybe we will make you unearth him and dig another grave so you can sleep with him."

Espinosa has waited almost a year to reveal these details because Islamic State threatened to execute the other people being held with him. At this time, his fellow prisoners have either been released or executed.

Sources: The Scotsman, AFP, The Guardian
Image Credit: Petty Officer First Class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy