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Homeland Security

US Identifies Suicide Victim at Guantanamo Detention Center

01 June 2007

The U.S. military says a Guantanamo detainee who died in his cell this week, apparently by suicide, was a Saudi military veteran with connections to al-Qaida.

The military identified the man Thursday as a mid-level al-Qaida operative.

Previously released U.S. military records say the detainee served in the Saudi army for nine years, where he received training from U.S. soldiers. The records also say the man admitted to going to Afghanistan to fight for the Taleban, but that he denied he intended to fight and kill Americans.

The military said guards found the man unresponsive and not breathing Wednesday in his cell at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A physician at the base pronounced him dead after trying to revive him.

The military says it will investigate the man's death. A cultural adviser also will assist staff at Guantanamo to ensure that the remains are handled in a "culturally sensitive and religiously appropriate manner."

The man is the fourth detainee to die of apparent suicide at the detention center since it opened in January 2002.

Two other Saudis and a third man from Yemen hanged themselves in their cells last June.

Nearly 400 terrorist suspects are being held at the U.S. detention center in Cuba, awaiting legal action after being picked up in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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