Friday, August 29, 2014

Genital Searches to Continue at Guantanamo


An appeals court has upheld genital searches of Guantanamo prisoners. The prisoners are searched at least twice every time they meet with their lawyers. 


According to the US Military, during the searches a guard places his hand as a “wedge between the scrotum and thigh, and uses the flat hand to press against the groin to detect anything foreign attached to the body. A flat hand is used to ensure no contraband is hidden between the buttocks.” 


The policy was adopted in May 2013. The Government argued the searches were necessary because of the September 2012 death of prisoner Adnan Latif. A military investigation into Latif’s death concluded he committed suicide by overdosing on medication. The investigation speculated Latif may have hidden medications in his groin area.


The government also argued the procedure was necessary because of the discovery of improvised weapons in prison cells at Guantanamo in April 2013. 


Lawyers for the prisoners argued multiple prisoners have stopped meeting their lawyers due to the policy. 


In July 2013 Federal Judge Royce Lamberth ruled the practice illegal. 


In his decision, Lamberth wrote, “This Court is duty bound to protect the writ of habeas corpus as a fundamental prerequisite of liberty by ensuring that all those who seek it have meaningful and effective access to the courts. For Guantanamo detainees, it is undisputed that access to the courts means nothing without access to counsel.”


On August 1 the DC Appeals court reversed Lamberth’s decision, saying, “The tenuous evidence of an improper motive to obstruct access to counsel in this case cannot overcome the legitimate, rational connection between the security needs of Guantanamo Bay and thorough searches of detainees.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr

ISN: 695
Nationality: Libyan




The following is a summary of the allegations against Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading, this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.

Omar Abu Bakr told US interrogators that he joined the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in 1992, the year the group was founded. He said LIFG trained him in the use of explosives and AK-47s.

LIFG declared Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi un-Islamic and attempted to overthrow his government. Some LIFG fighters focused on toppling Gaddaffi while others aligned with Osama Bin Laden or became active in the international Mujahedin network in other ways.

Abu Bakr said LIFG smuggled him into Sudan after he learned Libyan intelligence planned to question him about his participation in LIFG. He said he supervised drivers in Osama Bin Laden’s trucking company in Sudan.

LIFG sent Abu Bakr to Afghanistan. Abu Bakr said he attended a LIFG militant training camp in Afghanistan where he received training on AK-47s, machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons, and rocket propelled grenades. He said the training included target practice with silhouettes and mock training on sets representing towns and drive by shootings or ambush attacks from moving vehicles and motorcycles.

He said he also trained at Al Qaeda’s Jihad Wahl militant training camp in Afghanistan.

Omar Abu Bakr does not have a right leg. He has given US interrogators various explanations about how he lost his leg. The US military believes the following story is the most accurate one. Omar Abu Bakr said Abd Al Hadi Al Iraqi asked him to help clear a minefield. In the process of doing so Abu Bakr stepped on a mine. He awoke in a Kabul hospital to find that his right leg had been amputated.

Two Al Qaeda suspects, Malik Al Andalusi and Nasir Al Maghribi, said Abu Bakr was a member of LIFG’s military committee.

Zuhail Al Sharabi identified Abu Bakr as the leader of a Libyan militant training camp in Afghanistan. Al Sharabi stated he traveled to Afghanistan specifically to train at this camp. Abu Bakr has admitted to being a trainer in Afghanistan.

A former Guantanamo prisoner, Abd Al Sharikh stated he trained under Abu Bakr, who he said was the head trainer at the Libyan camp in September 2001.

Ahmed Ghailani identified Abu Bakr as a trainer at Al Qaeda’s Al Faruq training camp. Ahmed Al Darbi also identified Abu Bakr as an instructor at Al Faruq. 

When shown a photo of Abu Bakr, former Guantanamo prisoner Humud Al Jadani said Abu Badr was a close friend of Al Nashiri, who has been charged with carrying out the attack on the USS Cole.

Omar Abu Bakr told US interrogators he fought against advancing US and coalition forces in November 2001.

Omar Abu Bakr was captured with other suspected militants when Pakistani authorities raided two Faisalabad safe houses, which they believed were under the command of Abu Zubaydah in March 2002. 

Omar Abu Bakr was sent to Guantanamo on August 5, 2002.

Abu Bakr has threatened to kill the guards at Guantanamo, including threatening to kill “all MPs” (military police) on several occasions.


Omar Abu Bakr declined to take part in his 2004 CSRT. He told his personal representative, “I would rather be in the worst American jail than be a minister in my country. I want to stay here.”

In January 2010 Obama’s inter-agency Guantanamo task force recommended Omar Abu Bakr for continued detention.

Libyan rebels toppled the government of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with the help of NATO air strikes in 2011.

Rival militias continue to fight each other for power in Libya to this day. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ismael Ali Farag Al Bakush

Ismael Ali Farag al Bakush
ISN: 708
Nationality: Libyan


The following is a summary of the allegations against Ismael Al Bakush found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading, then this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.


Ismael Al Bakush told US interrogators that he traveled to Afghanistan to join the Islamic mujahedeen and fight Soviet forces in 1991. The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. He could not have fought the Soviets in Afghanistan at that time.


Al Bakush said after the Soviet withdrawal, he remained in Afghanistan and fought the Soviet-supported Afghan government. He said beginning in 1994 he worked in Sudan for two years selling perfume imported from Pakistan. He said towards the end of 1994 he joined the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).


KSM said the term “ready to wear perfumes” referred to military-grade explosives purchased from Afghanistan and sold in Pakistan. KSM said “local perfumes” referred to explosives manufactured by Al Qaeda operatives from locally available compounds. Al Bakush’s DAB says it is possible his reference to selling perfume may have indicated he was involved in facilitating the movement of explosives from Pakistan to Sudan.


Al Bakush said in 1997 he was told by the Sudanese government to leave the country. He said he flew to Syria where he was arrested and tortured for three months because they thought me might be an Israeli spy. He said he returned to Afghanistan later that year.


Al Bakush said he fought as a member of LIFG alongside the Taliban against the Northern Alliance in 2000 and 2001. He said he continued to fight against the Northern Alliance after it became an ally of the United States after the 9/11 attacks. He said that he did not fight against US forces.


Ismael Al Bakush was captured by Pakistani authorities at a suspected safe house. He was sent to Guantanamo on August 5, 2002.


The Libyan External Security Organization (ESO) said Al Bakush received militant training under the supervision of Pakistani Intelligence in a border region between Pakistan and Iran.


The ESO reported Ismael Al Bakush trained at Al Qaeda’s Al Faruq training camp.


Four LIFG members, Abu Abdallah Al-Sadiq, Sami Mustafa al-Sadi, Malik Al Andalusi, and Nasir Al Maghribi, identified Al Bakush as a member of the LIFG Military Committee.


Al Sadiq and Al Sadi said Al Bakush was an explosives trainer for LIFG. Al Andalusi and Al Maghribi said Al Bakush was an explosives expert.


The unclassified summary of evidence for Ismael Al Bakush’s 2006 ARB says Al Bakush wanted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to be overthrown. Al Bakush said he wanted to be released to a non-Arabic country. He said he did not believe the Libyan government would not treat him well if he was sent back to Libya.


In January 2010 Obama’s Guantanamo task force recommended Ismael Al Bakush for continued detention.


Libyan rebels overthrew the government of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with the help of NATO air strikes in 2011.



Rival militias continue to fight each other for power in Libya to this day. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Omar Hamzayavich Abdulayev

Nationality: Tajik
ISN: 257


The following is a summary of the allegations against Omar Hamzayavich Abdulayev found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading then this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.   


Omar Abdulayev was transferred from Pakistani to US custody on January 3, 2002. The Pakistani government gave the US four notebooks in his handwriting they said he was captured with.


One notebook covered map symbols, military tactical symbols, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and Russian anti-aircraft weapons. The second covered explosives and poisons. The third covered how to hold secret meetings, terrorist cell organization, intelligence collection, and counterintelligence. The final notebook listed names of militants and serial numbers of the weapons issued to them.


Abdulayev told interrogators a former member of the Afghan military gave him books on military matters because Abdulayev wanted to be a soldier someday. He said he copied them in his own handwriting because the books were old.


The unclassified summary of Abdulayev’s 2007 Administrative Review Board says, “the journal notes are too disjointed and filled with gaps and errors to have been copied.” It goes on to say Abdulayev, “almost certainly composed these journals as a student at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan or Pakistan.”


Omar Abdulayev was sent to Guantanamo February 9, 2002.


Adel Al Zamel said Abdulayev told him that Abdulayev worked with Abu Zubaydah and Ibn Al Shaykh Al Libi. Abdulayev never told interrogators he knew either of them. There is no mention in Abdulayev’s DAB that either of the two men, both of whom were previously prisoners of the CIA, acknowledged a relationship with Abdulayev, as they had with other prisoners at Guantanamo.


Adel Al Zamel said Abdulayev told him he was trained in poisons at a base in Kabul by Al Qaeda explosives and poisons expert Abu Khabab Al Masri. Al Zamel said as part of his training Abdulayev had poisoned rabbits and saw a video depicting a dog being placed in a room with “smoke” that killed the dog.


Ravil Mingazov also told interrogators he received poisons training that included the testing of poisons on rabbits. Mingazov would later say he lied about being trained on poisons based on what he had heard about actual training so he wouldn’t be sent back to Russia to be persecuted.


Adel Al Zamel also made allegations against Obaidullah and Bostan Karim and said after his release that he was threatened by interrogators who placed a gun on a table during an interrogation.


Omar Abdulayev told his CSRT that his family fled the civil war in Tajikistan in 1992 when he was 12 or 13 years old. He said he had completed the 6th grade when they left. He said his family went to live in a refugee camp in Afghanistan. He said that when his father went back to Tajikistan, he was killed by soldiers.


He said that after his father’s death his mother took the family to another refugee camp in Afghanistan where all men were required to join the Islamic Movement of Tajikistan, a militant group that was fighting against the Tajik government. He said that in late 2000 or early 2001 the family moved to the Babu refugee camp in Pakistan due to fighting in Afghanistan.


A foreign government service, likely a Pakistani intelligence agency, reported that Babu was a terrorist training camp. Abdulayev said Babu used to be a terrorist training camp before the Pakistani government shut it down and turned it into a refugee camp.


Omar Hamzayavich Abdulayev told his CSRT that he was captured by the intelligence service of Pakistan at a market in Pakistan in November 2001. He said they asked him for money and that when he told them he didn’t have any money, they put him in a prison basement. He said they gave him books and told him that if he copied them they would let him go. He said that after he said no, they beat and tortured him for a month, until he had no choice. He said they transferred him to another prison before turning him over, with the notebooks, to American forces.


He said he told his American interrogators what happened, but they didn’t believe him and beat him up.


Abdulayev told his CSRT, accurately, that the US paid Pakistan thousands of dollars for terrorist suspects. Abdulayev said, “The Pakistanis are making business out of this war.”


He said the Pakistani government, “knew that the more evidence they created, the more dangerous they made me, the more money they would make from the Americans.”


The unclassified summary of Abdulayev’s 2007 ARB says Abdulayev, “does not wish to return to Tajikistan, Pakistan, or Afghanistan because all of these governments are not good. He stated he would find his mother and seek asylum in whatever country would take him.”



In January 2010 Obama’s Guantanamo Task Force recommended Omar Abdulayev for, “transfer to Tajikistan subject to appropriate security measures.” 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Muhammed Murdi Issa Zahrani

ISN: 713
Nationality: Saudi


The following is a summary of the allegations against Muhammed Zahrani found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading then this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.  


Zahrani told US interrogators he was trained by Al Qaeda in intelligence collection techniques, explosives, bombings, hijackings, mechanical repair, hotwiring, poisons, and forced entry.


Zahrani told US interrogators that he was part of a unit that carried out assassinations of Northern Alliance leaders. The Northern Alliance was an ally of the US during the initial phase of the US war in Afghanistan. Zahrani said he participated in the assassination of Northern Alliance commander Al Baba Jumba and Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud.


Zahrani said that he fought on the front lines against the Northern Alliance.


Zahrani said that he executed an Egyptian suspected of spying on the militants for the Egyptian government. Zahrani also said that he participated in the interrogation of several suspected spies.


Zahrani was captured by Pakistani police during a house raid in May 2002.


Muhammed Zahrani was sent to Guantanamo in August 2002.


Zahrani said, “I am honored as a man to belong to Al Qaeda.” He also said, “I fought before and I will fight again,” and that if he is released he will “rejoin the jihad” wherever he is needed.


At his 2008 Administrative Review Board, Zahrani said he was not a member of Al Qaeda. He did not make this claim at his previous Administrative Review Boards. 


In January 2010 Obama's Guantanamo task force recommended Muhammed Zahrani for continued detention. 

Abdul Malik

ISN: 10025
Nationality: Kenyan


The following is a summary of the allegations against Abdul Malik found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading then this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.  


On February 13, 2007 Abdul Malik was arrested by Kenyan Anti-Terrorism police at a café.


According to unclassified testimony sent to his lawyers, Abdul Malik says that during a flight to a US military base in Djibouti, American soldiers took him to the door of the aircraft and threatened to throw him out.


Abdul Malik says that a US interrogator told him, “You have two possible journeys: one back to your family, or another that is very, very long. If you don’t tell us what we want to hear, you will have a long, long journey; you will spend your life in a cage.”


According to his DAB, Abdul Malik told US interrogators that he was a member of the East Africa Al Qaeda (EAAQ) network. Salim Awadh Salim, an admitted member of EAAQ, identified Abdul Malik as a member of EAAQ.


Abdul Malik’s DAB says he admitted personal involvement in the November 28, 2002 terrorist attack against the Kikambala Paradise Hotel. Malik said that TNT was packed inside dried rotting sharks, and thus was able to pass undetected through Kenyan customs inspection. 13 people died in the attack.


Abdul Malik’s DAB says he admitted he participated in the planning and execution of the 2002 terrorist missile attack against an Israeli civilian airliner. The airliner was carrying 271 passengers. Malik said that he was in charge of videotaping the attack. The attack was unsuccessful.


Omar Said Omar said he maintained e-mail contact with Abdul Malik regarding the casing of potential targets in 2003, including western embassies and airliners.


Abdul Malik was sent to Guantanamo on March 23, 2007.


Abdul Malik is one of the few Guantanamo prisoners who has not faced a CSRT or any other parole-board style hearing. 



In January 2010 Obama’s Guantanamo task force recommended Abdul Malik for continued detention. 

Gouled Hassan Dourad

ISN: 10023
Nationality: Somali


The following is a summary of the allegations against Gouled Hassan Dourad found in publicly available US military documents. If US military documents about this prisoner are inaccurate or misleading then this summary will be as well. The introduction to this set of summaries explains some of the terms used below.  


Dourad told US interrogators that he trained at the Khaldan militant training camp in Afghanistan. He told interrogators he was a member of AIAI, a Somali militant group. He also said he was a member of the East Africa Al Qaeda (EAAQ) network.


Dourad told US interrogators that he observed the US military base Camp Lemonier to see if it would be a viable target for a terrorist attack. He said he concluded it was not. Camp Lemonier is located in the country of Djibouti, which boarders Somalia.


Dourad’s DAB says that according to “credible reporting from multiple sources,” AIAI and EAAQ conducted operational planning and pre-operational surveillance on Camp Lemonier in late 2003 and early 2004. Dourad’s DAB says the militant groups decided to attack the base with explosives hidden in a water truck, but that arrests of their members in 2004 and 2005 disrupted the operation.


Abdul Malik told US interrogators that Dourad was a member of both AIAI and Al Qaeda. Malik would later say that at least some of his interrogations were conducted under duress.


The National Security Service of Djibouti reported that Dourad resided in the US awaiting his family’s sponsorship to the US. The agency said sponsorship was granted and that Dourad’s parents and siblings relocated to the US. The agency said Dourad returned to Somalia after the September 11 attacks. This report says Dourad was in the United States during the time he told interrogators he was training in Afghanistan.


Gouled Dourad did not attend his 2007 CSRT, but did provide statements to his personal representative. He said that was not a member of AIAI or Al Qaeda, but that he did fight alongside AIAI against the Ethiopians. He said he did not fight against Americans. He was not presented with the allegation that he observed Camp Lemonier in preparation for a potential attack. He did not contest the allegation that he received military training in Afghanistan.


Djiboutian Authorities captured Gouled Dourad at his home in March 2004 for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities. He was transferred to US custody and interrogated by the CIA, at a time when the CIA was authorized to torture prisoners. Dourad was sent to Guantanamo on September 4, 2006 to be prosecuted for alleged terrorist activities against the United States.


In January 2010 Obama’s Guantanamo task force recommended Gouled Dourad for continued detention.



Gouled Dourad is one of 15 high value detainees imprisoned at Camp 7. The high value detainees are imprisoned separately from the general population at Guantanamo.