Questions have been raised as to whether the controversial organisation Cage has been indirectly funded by taxpayers through donations handed to them by former Guantanamo detainees.
The group continued to court controversy this week, declining to reveal whether it had received donations from former Guantanamo detainees, who between them have been handed compensation of around £20 million from the British government for their incarceration.
The matter came to light after one of the men who received compensation apparently blew himself up in Iraq in an attack targeting a military base.
Jamal Udeen al-Harith is said to have been awarded £1 million in compensation for two years spent at Gitmo after successfully arguing that British agents knew of or were complicit in his mistreatment. American sources have said they are unable to confirm whether the suicide bomber was the same man.
Cage campaigned for the release of the Guantanamo detainees and has worked with a number of those released, including al-Harith who contributed to one of their reports.
Now questions are being raised as to whether any of them contributed financially to the group. Cage’s accounts show that more than £300,000 was handed to the group by unidentified donors in the three years following the government’s decision to award compensation.
Cage has insisted that data protection laws prevent it from revealing the identities of the donors. A spokesman told the Telegraph: “… regarding [our] silence. That in any way shape or form cannot be inferred as accepting of a point, as there are statutory pieces of legislation that prevent us from commenting or divulging individuals’ donations/addresses etc. We must all pay adherence to due process and the rule of law.”
Tim Loughton, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the public would be “doubly outraged” if it is confirmed that Cage had been funded in this manner.
“It is bad enough that someone suspected of terrorist activity and then putting it beyond doubt by his own violent actions was funded by the taxpayer,” he said.
“If it now transpires that he or others could have used our money to promote terrorist supporting organisations or even bombs then the public will be doubly outraged.
“We need urgent answers to questions about why he was not considered a security risk, how he was monitored in the UK and what basic money laundering rules were applied to see if he used his ill-gotten gains to support proscribed organisations.
“I would also expect the Government to take action to recover any of this money from his estate.”