The annual Paddle for the Peace had a turn out of about 125 boats and several hundred participants. The event launched from Bear Flat along Highway 29 and traveled about 4 hours and through the location of the proposed Site C dam.- Advertisement –
By Ben Fox THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Saudi suspected of being the “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11 attacks has recanted his confession, saying he made false statements after he was beaten, abused and humiliated at Guantanamo, according to documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press. Mohammed al-Qahtani – whom U.S. officials have said was subjected to harsh treatment authorized by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld – denied knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks in his first appearance before a military panel at Guantanamo Bay in October. “I am a businessman, a peaceful man,” al-Qahtani testified under oath, nearly five years after he was taken to the detention center in Cuba. “I have no connection to terrorism, violence or fighters.” An unidentified military officer at the hearing said the detainee admitted traveling in 2001 in Afghanistan, where he received terrorist training, met with Osama bin Laden and agreed to participate in a “martyr mission” for al-Qaida. Al-Qahtani said the statements were not true and he only admitted to them while he was being “tortured” at Guantanamo. The alleged torture, which he details in a separate statement, included being beaten, restrained for long periods in uncomfortable positions, threatened with dogs, exposed to loud music and freezing temperatures and stripped nude in front of female personnel, he said. The U.S. has alleged that al-Qahtani barely missed becoming the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11, 2001. The Saudi was denied entry into the country by immigration agents at the airport in Orlando, Florida. At the time, he had more than $2,400 in cash and no return plane ticket, and lead hijacker Mohamed Atta was waiting for him, a Pentagon spokesman said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!