In the early stages of the ‘War on Terror,’ CIA agents at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility turned detainees into double agents, helping the US to track and kill terrorists, according to US officials.
For some Gitmo detainees, held prisoner on a US military base in the middle of shark-infested waters, the promise of freedom in return for helping the CIA root out terrorists back home may have proven too much of a temptation.
In addition to winning their freedom, co-conspirators were granted safety guarantees for their families, and millions of dollars from the agency's secret war chest, sources told AP.
The arrangement did not come without some inherent risks, however, since – as the war in Afghanistan has proven on various occasions - it is not uncommon for US troops to suddenly become the target of ‘friendly foreign fire.’
In January 2002, 632 detainees arrived at Gitmo, followed by 117 the next year. Suddenly, the risk of building a strategic partnership with the enemy seemed worth taking. The CIA, recognizing an opportunity for breaching the mountain hideouts of elusive terrorist targets, seemed prepared to release some prisoners from the harsh conditions of their indefinite detention.