WASHINGTON -- Military guards at the secretive camp that holds Guantanamo's most dangerous prisoners gave the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey this week to a man charged in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, his lawyer said Wednesday. The detainee, Ammar al-Baluchi, considered the book a "gift" he didn't want, the lawyer said.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) told The Huffington Post last month that military officials mentioned during a tour of Guantanamo's Camp Seven that Fifty Shades was the most popular book among the camp's high-value detainees. But al-Baluchi hadn't heard of the book until he read an article in the Miami Herald on Monday mentioning it, lawyer James Connell told The Huffington Post in an email.
Al-Baluchi, the nephew of alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not attend a pretrial hearing at Guantanamo's war court on Tuesday, but bought a copy of Fifty Shades to the courthouse facility on Wednesday, Connell said. The prisoner explained that the guards had given it to him on Monday night.
"He refused it until they told him the title, which he recognized the title from the article; then he took it to give it to me. He has never read it," Connell said. "Mr. al Baluchi thinks of it as a gift from JTF-GTMO, but one he does not want."
Connell said the book did not have the usual markings of books loaned by Guantanamo's detainee library, which has reportedly prohibited the book because of its sexual content. He said the book did not show signs of wear but "was not brand-new either."
For now, Connell said he's holding onto the book and plans to discuss the gift with prison officials.
A military spokesman at Guantanamo declined to comment.
UPDATE: 10:08 p.m. -- The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg posted this picture of Connell posing with the book he said guards gave his client.
#911 case attorney Jay Connell holds the book he says guards gave Ammar al Baluchi at Camp 7 Monday night. pic.twitter.com/Zympv0VTLG
— Carol Rosenberg (@carolrosenberg) August 21, 2013