The terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay have joined the #MeToo movement.
According to a report in The Daily Mail, the men accused of planning the September 11 attacks are claiming that the physical searches they receive from guards at Gitmo are sexual harassment.
Gitmo detainees get limited access to television news media, and have apparently been inspired by coverage of the #MeToo movement and sexual misconduct allegations that have dominated coverage.
The five Islamic fanatics accused of masterminding 9/11 complained in a military court on Monday that they are being sexually harassed at Guantanamo Bay.
The men were appearing before a military judge for a pretrial hearing at the Guantanamo Navy Base when they made the complaint, echoing the cries of Hollywood starlets and women around the world who have spoken out recently in unison as part of a growing movement against sexual violence.
The alleged terrorists’ claims were not treated with the same sympathy as other accusers, however and they were announced somewhat out of the blue.
The first mention of the alleged assaults came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who, in broken English, blurted out: ‘We be under sexual harassment today for search in being here.’
He had been asked by judge Army Col. James Pohl if he understood that he did not have to attend the hearings when he made the remark.
Mohammed’s claim was repeated by Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, 45, later in the proceedings
Their complaint is the hands-on groin searches that are performed by guards on the men. Al Shibh said they amount to ‘sexual harassment searches’.
Their three co-defendants, Walid bin Attash, 38, Ammar al Baluchi, 40, and Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi,49, said they supported their accusations.
Al Hawsawi was so irate he asked to leave the hearing upon mention of them, The Miami Herald reported.
The physical searches are new – until Monday, guards at the prison had been using body scanners to search inmates’ private parts.
Prosecutors did not have an immediate explanation for the change on Monday. Col. Pohl instructed them to bring a witness to court to explain it this week.
It is likely the accused, who are all kept at Guantanamo’s Camp 7, are aware of the ongoing national conversation about sexual harassment and assault given that they have limited access to free news channels.