Ronald Fiddler, a British born former Guantanamo Bay detainee and IS fighter has died in a suicide bomb attack on Iraqi forces in Mosul.
Like all inmates at Guantanamo, Fiddler was detained without trial and routinely tortured over a two year period. Following his release in 2004, it is alleged that he was paid £1 million compensation by the British Government. He was never charged with any offence.
The general consensus of social media opinion is that Fiddler must have been guilty after all and should not have been released or compensated. But I’m not so sure.
There is no evidence that Fiddler was a terrorist prior to his rendition and torture. Somewhat ironically, US Forces originally released him from a Taliban prison in Kandahar in 2002. However, days later he was rearrested as the Red Cross were preparing to repatriate him back to the UK. His reasons for travel in the region were deemed ‘implausible’.
However implausible his reasons for travel it seems entirely plausible to me that Fiddler was radicalised by his less than perfect experiences of freedom and democracy.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is a unique account of the Afghan war as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged man thrust onto the frontline by a failed marriage, financial ruin and the words of John Stuart Mill (1806–1873).
‘Brims with authenticity and dark humour.’
Patrick Hennessey, bestselling author of The Junior Officers’ Reading Club
Doug Beattie, bestselling author of An Ordinary Soldier
‘A must read.’
Richard Dorney, bestselling author of The Killing Zone
‘The best book by a soldier concerning the Afghan War that I have read’
Frank Ledwidge, bestselling author of Losing Small Wars
SOLDIER The official magazine of the British Army