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.