The Islamic State used the Guantanamo prison as a model for how it treated its hostages, according to former hostage Javier Espinosa, with many security cameras and guards who subjected prisoners to various levels of torture.
The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba is where the United States keeps some of its most dangerous prisoners, including terrorists; some of the guards’ treatment of detainees there has been criticized as too harsh.
ISIS held Espinosa from September 2013 to March 2014 along with many hostages the terrorist group has since killed, including the American journalist James Foley. The orange robes ISIS makes its hostages wear are thought to be styled after the jumpsuits worn by Guantanamo prisoners.
The ISIS take on Guantanamo was first established in a large home north of Aleppo, Syria. Over the course of several years, 23 hostages were held by ISIS militants, primarily Westerners and a Russian, Sergei Gorbunov, who was one of the first to be killed. Other hostages, including Espinosa, were forced to view photographs of the execution. While other hostages were beheaded, Gorbunov was killed with an “exploding bullet” fired at his head.