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Bin Laden Sports 'I Love Guantanamo' T-Shirt in DC Ad

AFP: Travelers on the metro in the US capital risk coming facing to face with Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, smiling and wearing an "I Love Guantanamo" T-shirt.

The irreverent billboard image of America's number one enemy, just a short distance from the White House, is part of an activist campaign aimed at highlighting that Al-Qaeda uses the US detention center as a recruiting tool.

The metro billboard is "to remind policymakers that torture is illegal, unethical and a top recruiting tool for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network," creators from the Avaaz activist group said.

Avaaz believes Guantanamo is a potent symbol for the "war on terror" torture excesses of former president George W. Bush and that Al-Qaeda plays on this fact to pull in new members.

Another poster presents former vice-president Dick Cheney, who has ardently defended the controversial interrogation techniques of the Bush-era, begging the question: "Could this be Al-Qaeda's best recruiter?"

President Barack Obama, who has vowed to shut the camp by January, is shown in a third poster, looking pensive, alongside a slogan from his inauguration speech: "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

The advertisement campaign aimed at shutting the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is being run at Farragut North metro station, one of the closest to the White House, and in the Washington Post daily newspaper.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the complexities of trying to re-house the 223 inmates still at Guantanamo meant it was "going to be tough" to meet Obama's January 22 deadline for the camp's closure.

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