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December 14, 2014 3:54 pm

Kosher Butcher Provides Meat for Released Guantanamo Detainees in Uruguay

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A photo of Camp X-Ray, a temporary detention facility at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Six prisoners recently released from Guantanamo Bay sought out kosher meat to accommodate their Islamic dietary restrictions as they began life anew as refugees in Uruguay, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.

The men – four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian – are staying at a home in a middle class neighborhood in Uruguay and are guests of a major labor union which President Jose Mujica asked to host them.

The union’s executive secretary, Gabriel Melgareo, said the hosts were trying to find meat that adheres to the men’s dietary needs.

“We found lamb meat they can eat at a butcher shop that sells kosher meat for the Jewish community,” he said.

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The six men were detained in 2002 as suspected militants with ties to al-Qaeda. Though they were never charged they spent more than a dozen years as prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba, the Daily Mail reported. They were cleared for release in 2009 but could not be sent home. The U.S. struggled to find countries willing to take them in until Uruguay agreed to accept them. The men arrived in the country on Monday.

Enjoying their freedom, four of the six former detainees successfully eluded journalists and went on a 6-mile walk along the banks of Uruguay’s Rio de la Plata on Thursday, Melgareo said.

“They were enchanted by the blue sky of Montevideo, the tranquility of the city, the ability to walk through the streets in absolute calm,” he added.

Bakery worker Laura Larrobla said two of the men stopped by to purchase cheese, yogurt and bread. She claimed they “looked good” and spoke only with an interpreter.

Melgarejo said the men are making plans to have their families come and live with them. They are also trying to learn Uruguay’s dialect.

“Today they began taking Spanish classes,” he explained. “A teacher came in the morning and we obtained several Arabic-Spanish dictionaries, which was not easy.”

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  • I can understand the concerns people have about jihadists, but after 12 years of detention, if these men were truly hardcore operatives, don’t you think they’d still be at Guantanamo? Is the answer to terrorism to try to imprison everyone we deem to be a potential threat? Really? How many thousands of people would that amount to every year after year?
    The only way to reduce the threat of terrorists is to convince the vast majority of Muslims that radical leadership and extremist doctrine are both counterproductive. The only way that happens is if Western societies role model the tolerance and diversity that we preach to Muslim countries.

    • charlie johnson

      Speaking strictly as an infidel , I would not care to live in a community that caters to Islamics which already have nations under Islamic control who make no special concessions for trash like me to live nearby. Unless I provide the target for the stone toss competitions.

  • DockyWocky

    It didn’t take long before these terrorists were back in the demanding special treatment brigade, did it?

    However, there is a unusual opportunity here for the kosher butcher to do the world a favor – assuming the kosher butcher is aware of just who he is preparing meats for, and that he can lay his hands on some Ebola viruses, that is.

  • racy

    They are not innocent men. Read the transcipts.
    They are Jihadist killers who were released by the
    President of the U.S., a Jihadist sympathizer. These killers will eventually return to the killing fields.
    Before they do, I hope the butcher puts poison in their
    meat.

  • Elias Behar

    Here is the new start of another Muslim community that in no time will spread as cancer….When will the world have some brains to prevent all what’s happening in Europe in general and in France Sweden and other ‘progressive’ societies in particular???

  • Carol Colffield

    Interesting article but one line particularly puzzled me. What would be a “Uruguayan dialect”? I am Uruguayan and as far as I know, my mother tongue is Spanish -Castilian if you prefer- which in any case fits the denomination of a dialect. There is a reason for them to have bought Spanish dictionaries…

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