Friday, February 7, 2014

Ravil Mingazov

ISN: 702
Nationality: Russian

The following is a summary of the allegations against Ravil Mingazov 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.  

Ravil Mingazov does not want to be sent back to Russia.

Mingazov was captured by Pakistani authorities during raids on suspected safe houses in Faisalabad, Pakistan in March 2002.The US military believes that Mingazov was part of Abu Zubadah’s Martyrs Brigade, which was allegedly using the safe houses to build IEDs to be used against US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.  He was transferred to US custody in May 2002.

Mingazov told US interrogators in Afghanistan that he joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a militant group with connections to Al Qaeda. He also said that he attended three militant training camps, an IMU training camp, al-Faruq, and Kara Karga. Mingazov said that even though he doesn’t speak Arabic, at Al Qaeda’s al-Faruq training camp he was forced to attend speeches given by Osama Bin Laden and often fell asleep from boredom. Kara Karga is also run by Al Qaeda. Mingazov said he was trained on poisons at his time at the camp.

Mingazov was sent to Guantanamo in October 2002.  After he arrived at Guantanamo, he changed his story.

He told his new story to his Administrative Review Board in June 2006.

He said that he was in charge of supplying food for a section of the Russian army stationed in Tajikistan. He said his problems began when he converted to Islam. He tried to get the army to provide Halal food and prayer time for Muslim members of the Russian army. He said that this brought him problems from the KGB. He said he discussed his concerns with a public official and a meeting of a national party. He said that due to his persecution, he decided to move to a new country. He said he would bring his family to that country once he found a place for them to live. He believed Afghanistan was the easiest country to travel to, so he went there to find a new home.

He went to Tajikistan and told Tajik authorities he was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan because the Tajik government was sending IMU members to Afghanistan. Mingazov fled Afghanistan after the American invasion and went with other refugees to a center in Lahore run by Jamaat Tablighi. He was told it would be easier to leave Pakistan if he went to a house in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was offered transportation to the house. After he arrived, he was sent to another house in Faisalabad. That was the house where he was arrested with the suspected members of Abu Zubaydah’s Martyrs Brigade.

He told his ARB that he was interrogated by the CIA in Bagram. He said his interrogator told him that if he didn’t have anything significant in his background, he would be released. Mingazov said he heard that there were planes at Bagram taking Russian prisoners back to Russia. Ravil Mingazov did not want to go back to Russia. He heard they were sending significant people to Cuba. He said that a representative from the Red Cross said that conditions in Cuba (Guantanamo) were very good.  

He said he weighed his options, “whether I would like to go to Cuba where they have very good conditions and maybe the human rights or go back to Russia where I would have to end up eating pork.” He heard that in America some people deliberately break the windows of department stores in the winter in order to end up in jail for three or four months. He said he lied about his attendance at militant training camps in order to be sent to Guantanamo so he wouldn’t be sent back to Russia.

One of the prisoners captured in the raid on the house where Mingazov was captured said that Mingazov was a missionary. Another said he was a student. 

In November 2002 a Russian delegation visited Mingazov and expressed Russia’s wish that he be repatriated to Russia to face criminal prosecution for treason for working with US intelligence services.

Mingazov told his ARB that he heard that delegations from Chechnya used to come to America and Costa Rica and have good relationships with those countries, but after what happened in Afghanistan, they changed their views. He disagrees with that policy change. He also stated that he believed that the United States is supporting Northern Alliance Fighters who are killing innocent people.

Due to translation issues it is not clear whether he  believes that the Russian government is enmeshed with the Russian mafia or believes that they act like the mafia.

In January 2010 Mingazov was recommended for prosecution by Obama’s Guantanamo task force.

Ravil Mingazov does not want to be sent back to Russia.

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