A former inmate at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba said Sunday extremist Muslims in the U.K. should "get the hell out." Shaker Aamer, who was released from the prison camp on Cuba at the end of October, had strong words for any potential British jihadis who might be planning terrorist attacks against neighbors in his first interviews with news outlets like the Mail Sunday.
"If you are that angry about this country, you can get the hell out," Aamer told the Mail. "How can you give yourself the right to be living here in this country, and living with the people and acting like you are a normal person, and then you just walk in the street and try to kill people?"
Aamer said the killing of civilians is just wrong, according to his interpretation of Islam.
"Even if there is a war, you cannot kill just anybody. You cannot kill kids, you cannot kill chaplains, you cannot just go in the street and get a knife and start stabbing people," Aamer told the Mail.
His statements come a week after a man with a knife attacked two people outside the Leytonstone station, shouting, "This is for Syria!"
Aamer was captured by bounty hunters in Afghanistan 14 years ago and handed over to U.S. soldiers. He was shipped to Guantanamo Bay and held for 13 years without charges, despite being an official resident of the United Kingdom. Aamer, now 48, returned home to London Oct. 30.
Aamer expressed concern about certain public figures attempting to increase tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims, like Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States. "If you keep looking at people like they are terrorists before they do anything, then you will push them toward violence," he said.
Aamer also accused the British government of knowing he was being beaten and tortured, and said he was not allowed to make a video appeal to stop the October 2014 beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning by infamous the British terrorist known as "Jihadi John." Guantanamo officials "showed no interest and made no response," when Aamer asked to make his plea, said Aamer's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith. "It's a pity, because it might have saved Alan Henning's life."
With all the talk of death and torture, though, came some sweetness: His reunion with his wife Zinneera was emotional. "That instant washed away the pain of 14 years," he told the Mail. "It washed away the tiredness, the agony, the stress. It was like it no longer existed. I hugged her, she hugged me, and we just wept."