Gitmo Guards Attacked on ‘Daily Basis’ by Detainees

Physical, verbal assaults, body fluids aimed at guards

Guantanamo's Camp 6 detention facility / AP
April 15, 2014

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE—Prison guards here at the Guantanamo Bay prison are attacked on a "daily basis" by detainees, according to Commander John Filostat, a prison spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo.

There are "daily attacks against the guard both verbal and physical," such as scratching and other assaults, Filostat told reporters on Tuesday. "Guards endure that on a daily basis."

Detainees also engage in "splashing," which is when a "bodily fluid cocktail" is tossed at guards, who now wear protective wear and facemasks when dealing with high value prisoners being held at Camp 5 and Camp 6, according to Filostat.

"There’s some type of resistance every day," Filostat said, noting that a "small number" of detainees are still being force fed due to hunger strikes.

"We will always have those trying protest," Filostat said.

One guard and his family were physically threatened by a detainee who had obtained a copy of a media report that featured the guard’s name and photograph, Filostat said.

"Personal information" about the guard was used "against him as a threat by a detainee" who had read the report, he said.

"A lot of these detainees are still in the fight," Filostat said. The guards are "in constant contact with folks who want to do harm to them."

"There are detainees that also tell guards if they get out they’re going to find them," Filostat added, acknowledging inmate threats to "guards and their families."

Those inmates deemed "non-compliant" are housed in single cells within Camp 5, while those identified as less of a threat are kept in Camp 6, which is a more communal environment.

Detainees are treated to some physical activity and reportedly enjoy playing soccer, Filostat reported. Even those in Camp 7 have access to the news and can read newspapers such as the Washington Post.

Accused 9/11 enabler Ramzi bin al Shibh was spotted by reporters at Tuesday’s military hearing reading a copy of the Post.

Filostat would not discuss any details pertaining to the secret Camp 7, where suspects such as al Shibh and accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed are housed.

"We don’t talk about the ops at Camp 7," Filostat said in response to questions about the facility, which is said to be rundown and deteriorating.

A Camp 7 commander was originally scheduled to testify this week before the court, but that fell through upon surprise revelations that the FBI had tried to recruit a member of the defense team as an informant.

Judge James Pohl instructed the defense team on Tuesday afternoon to assemble a detailed order explaining the types of information and testimony they would want to receive FBI officials involved in the alleged investigation.

Pohl additionally directed all current and past members of the defense team to reveal to head lawyers whether they too had been approached or interviewed by any federal agency, including the FBI.

Proceedings are scheduled to resume on Thursday at the earliest.

Published under: Guantanamo , Terrorism