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Gitmo prisoner captivated by U.S. pop culture

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An Afghan man who is being held as a former CIA terror suspect at Guantánamo has apparently gained extensive knowledge of western pop culture in an unlikely place: the detention center’s top secret prison-within-a-prison.

Nearly five years ago, Mohammed Rahim al-Afghani became the last prisoner sent to Guantánamo. He was accused of helping Osama bin Laden elude capture, and the CIA had interrogated him for months at an undisclosed location before he was locked away in Guantánamo’s Camp 7 — a prison unit shrouded in secrecy that holds about 15 men the U.S. government calls “high value” detainees because of their previous CIA detention.

With no court appearances, or even charges filed, nothing was heard from Rahim and he has remained largely a mystery. So, it was a surprise when his lawyer, Carlos Warner, released letters from the detainee described by the head of the CIA as a “tough, seasoned jihadist.” More surprising still was the content: quirky notes peppered with references to Howard Stern, Fox News and the global video hit of South Korean singer PSY.

“Dear Mr. Warner,” he wrote. “I like this new song Gangnam Style. I want to do the dance for you but cannot because of my shackles.”