IS attacker's family say he was 'utterly changed' by inhuman treatment in Guantanamo

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

The family of a British man reportedly killed fighting for so-called Islamic State have said he was "utterly changed" by "inhuman" treatment at Guantanamo Bay, which they suggested could have driven him towards joining the terror group.

Jamal al Harith, from Manchester, has been identified as a suicide bomber for IS who reportedly died after driving a truck full of explosives into a military base in Mosul.

News of his death was followed by outrage after it was revealed he had been awarded a substantial payout for his detainment in the US camp - but his family said reports £1 million in compensation was paid are overblown.

The family said that the 50-year-old was a different person after he returned from two years held by the US at Guantanamo.

A family statement said "The Jamal they knew up until 2001 when he was taken to Guantanamo Bay would not have become involved with a despicable organisation such as so-called IS.

"He was a peaceful and gentle person.

"Whatever he may or may not have done since then they believe from their own experience he was utterly changed by the physical and mental cruelty and the inhuman treatment he endured for two years at Guantanamo."

Addressing the issue of compensation, they said al Harith had not received as much as reported.

The compensation settlement was shared between four former detainees and included reimbursement for their costs, they said.

Al Harith was born as Ronald Fiddler to a Jamaican family in the UK and converted to Islam as an adult. He was held by US forces after he was discovered as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Americans suspected that he had intended to join the terror group and held him for two years until the UK government secured his release in 2004.

On his return, al Harith spoke to ITV News and described the "harsh" conditions inside the centre.

He later sued the UK government for compensation based on their complicity with the US over torture and human rights abuses in Guantanamo.

Despite his history he was able to travel to Syria in 2014 where he apparently joined IS.