CIA trained Gitmo detainees as double agents

U.S. intelligence officials actively recruited and trained terror detainees at the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to be double agents for the United States. 

The program, run by the CIA out of a clandestine facility near the prison, began shortly after the first terror detainees began arriving at Guantánamo in early 2002, according to The Associated Press. 


The first intelligence assets trained and released back to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere to spy for the United States under the program, codenamed "Penny Lane," began in 2003. 

"Of course that would be an objective," Emile Nakhleh, a former top CIA analyst, said in an interview with the AP. 

"It's the job of intelligence to recruit sources," he added. 

Langley officially ended the operation in 2006. 

But during that time, U.S. intelligence was able to use these double agents to target and kill top al Qaeda leaders across the globe, several current and former U.S. officials told the AP. 

The agency, however, also lost a number of intelligence assets who were turned against al Qaeda during their time at Guantánamo, after those detainees broke contact with their handlers at the CIA upon their release. 

The program's code name, based on the classic Beatles song, was in reference to the small CIA outpost where intelligence officials would recruit and train detainees. 

Langley also ran a smaller, separate prison for terror detainees, outside the main detention center at Guantánamo, dubbed "Strawberry Fields" after the Beatles song of the same name, the AP reports.