Moazzam Begg – Guantanamo Bay Survivor

Moazzam Begg is a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was featured in the BBC documentary “THE CONFESSION:LIVING THE WAR ON TERROR”

The US authorities held him as an enemy combatant and claimed he was an al-Qaeda member, yet he has never been convicted of any crime.

Today Moazzam is an advocate for the rights of those unjustly held at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

He serves as the Director of Outreach for CAGE, a London-based advocacy organisation which aims to empower communities impacted by the ‘War on Terror’.

00:00 Trailer.
02:45 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:56 Brian’s introduction.
05:28 Impact of Ice-T on Moazzam’s journey in defining his identity.
07:38 How Moazzam could relate to the views of Malcolm X in his autobiography.
10:02 Meeting Mohammed Ali.
11:45 Internal conflict for American soldiers at detention centres.
14:35 Relationships built with his captors continue today.
19:02 The changes in living in multicultural Birmingham, England of today from when he was growing up there.
25:27 Moazzam’s reasoning for his interest and subsequent involvement in the Bosnian and Gulf wars.
27:56 America probably wouldn’t let Moazzam in “even if it wanted to”.
30:16 Anger at stories of atrocities to Muslim population in Bosnia propel him into action.
36:47 Learning of different forms of Islam and scriptural teaching across the Islamic world included Jihad.
40:09 Extremists and the rise of ISIS.
48:42 UK security services visit his house and bookshop.
50:53 Moazzam defines what Jihad means to him.
54:02 Why Moazzam moved with his wife and young family to Afghanistan where he observed the Taliban.
59:47 The history of abducting young boys for sex slaves.
1:02:49 What the day of 9/11 was like for Moazzam, its consequences and family escape to Pakistan.
1:09:42 He questions whether his decisions were naïve or he was culpable for what happened to him next.
1:11:09 What happened to him in Pakistan on the night of 31 January 2002.
1:14:24 The interrogation process caused him to question his British Citizenship.
1:18:31 The torture begins during transfer to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
1:26:53 He blames the British Government for his imprisonment.
1:31:10 Transfer to Camp Bagram where he witnessed prisoners beaten and kicked to death.
1:33:22 Why he finally decided to sign a confession and why he felt relief at being sent to Guantanamo Bay.
1:37:34 Arriving at Guantanamo Bay.
1:40:23 Experience of being in Guantanamo.
1:44:33 How this experience was testing Moazzam’s faith and the key to keeping his sanity.
1:47:28 Wondering if he would ever be released and where hope came from.
1:48:54 The day of his release and a surreal arrival at RAF Northolt.
1:55:09 Moazzam arrived home with a plan to fight.
1:56:29 The purpose of Cage for which he is Outreach Director.
1:57:45 How his treatment in Guantanamo has changed him.
2:00:20 Final settlement with the British Government but no admittance they were complicit in torture.
2:05:19 Going to Syria in 2012 results in arrest and imprisonment.
2:11:17 Why he was angry at his imprisonment and sad about Alan Henning’s killing.
2:15:54 Governments negotiate with terrorists.
2:17:17 Moazzam’s view of situation in Syria today and of attacks in Britain and France.
2:20:35 What he thinks might be the way forward.
2:22:23 The British media is out of control with the lies, hatred and misconceptions it spreads about Muslims.
2:26:05 What he says to those fellow Muslims he meets who are extremists.
2:26:55 The case against torture.
2:28:09 What he thinks of Donald Trump and his statement that he will bring back torture.
2:31:39 The future of Guantanamo Bay.
2:35:38 What he was terrified of during his time in Guantanamo Bay.
2:35:56 Moazzam’s thoughts on human rights, prisoner rights and the Geneva Convention.
2:37:39 What schedule 7 is, its affect and how Cage is fighting against it.
2:40:53 What will Britain look like in twenty years if Cage succeeds.
2:42:10 Is he afraid of being imprisoned again?
2:43:00 How he would want to be remembered.
2:43:37 What his friends would say is his super power.
2:44:19 The verse from the Koran which helps him remain stoic.
2:45:17 The best and worst days of his life.
2:45:45 How he feels about speaking of Guantanamo Bay having left it.
2:46:39 Why he thinks his story is not more in the public conscience and why they don’t fight injustice.
2:48:59 What we would be surprised to know about Moazzam.
2:49:58 What scares him.
2:50:40 What keeps him awake at night.
2:51:16 Advice to the twenty-year old Moazzam.
2:51:56 Best advice he ever received.
2:53:39 Advice to young people listening who could make a change to prevent a repetition of recent events.
2:54:35 Brian’s summing up.

Moazzam Begg links:

Moazzam Begg on Facebook

Moazzam Begg on Wikipedia

Cage (organisation)


Moazzam Begg Books:

Enemy Combatant

Debi Cornwall – Welcome to Camp America


Topics discussed:

Guantanamo Bay detention camp

The Confession (documentary film)


Nation of Islam

Sunni Islam

Camp Bagram

Native Americans in the United States

Birmingham, England

National Front

The Warriors (film)

Beat It by Michael Jackson

History of the British Raj

Bosnian War

Gulf War


Rambo III


American Civil War

Shia-Sunni relations

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS (documentary film)


The Kite Runner (book)

Taxi to the Dark Side (film)

Job (Biblical figure)

Hannibal Lecter

CONTEST (prevent programme)

Schedule 7

Camel Spiders


People mentioned in this episode:


Malcolm X

Muhammad Ali

Elijah Muhammad

Gareth Peirce

Nelson Mandela

Alan Henning

James Foley (journalist)

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi

Donald Trump

Presidency of George W Bush

Presidency of Barack Obama

Jim Mattis

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Martin Luther King Jr

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Moazzam Begg is an amazing inspiration for us ALL! Moazzam not every American voted for Bush or Trump. Thank you for sharing your story🌈


This interview was incredibly humbling to listen to, and also very enlightening.
However, can I suggest the addition of subtitles for the hard of hearing or deaf viewers of this program.
This would be much appreciated.
I have two hard of hearing sisters who I want to introduce to these videos but there’s no point in doing so without the addition of subtitles (preferably) or sign language.


What an amazing man Moazzam is! It is hard to believe the injustice that goes on in this world. I feel 100 years + from now people will look back and go what in the world was going on. Thank you so much Bryan and London Real for this interview. This is literally the best and most impactful interview I have even seen.


I’m so humbled by Moazzam’s humility and resilience. I can’t express my gratitude in words to Brian for this amazing interview.

Vivian Maar

Great interview, 3h very well spent


Brian that’s was a fascinating interview. I was glued to the screen. Mr Begg is clearly one of the most important men of our time . It was an privilege to watch him on your show.Amazing Work London Real .


Wow. Brave man, brave interview. Very proud of you Brian for doing this one. I’m a psychotherapist and someone who endured years of physical and sexual abuse. I’m inspired by Moazzam and he’s realistic views. He truely challenges the myopic views off many westerners and also Muslims on the true nature of justice and the struggle for equality.


Can’t believe I watched the whole 3 hour long interview, longest one by far yet one of the best ever. Truly sheds some light on some of the darker realities of the world out there.


amazing in-depth interview. Pleasure to listen to…


Thank You London Real. Opened My Eyes More!


This video should be broadcast on all european and american media….Watching this interview two words comes to my mind:humbleness and dignity…What a extraordinary man !Great podcast Brian,thank You !


Thanks for uploading this interview with Moazzam Begg. We might not share his religion, or, if we’re Muslim, even share his approach to Islam but we can all appreciate the humility and the humanity of this interesting and highly evolved man. I’m glad you took the risk of dividing your audience; that’s what keeps enterprises like yours fresh and challenging. I personally feel that fighting and war just beget more fighting and war but of course as a British white person I have never been at the receiving end of aerial attacks or any sort of persecution; I don’t feel… Read more »


Thank you so much for listening to this man’s story. Because of you, Brian, I have heard so many people I could never have a conversation with. And because of Moazzam, I understand more about orthodox Islam. Moazzam, as an American, I am so sorry you were treated this way. I apologize on behalf of my country that you were villified and cruelly punished for things you didn’t do. Please keep spreading the word of forgiveness, everyone. Bitterness and hate is a killer, love is a healer.


Thank you so much!!


Great way to pass 3 hours


Fantastic interview. I am an American and I find Moazzam Begg a true human. A hero to humanity.


Wow, inspiring!


That was fantastic.