Mauritanian detainees at Guantanamo Bay

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On May 15, 2006 the United States Department of Defense acknowledged that there have been three Mauritanian captives held in Guantanamo.[1] The Guantanamo Bay detainment camps were opened on January 11, 2002 at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. The Bush administration asserted that all captives taken in the "global war on terror" could be held there, in extrajudicial detention, without revealing their names. So far as the captive's families and friends would know, they would just disappear.

However, the Associated Press had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the names of all the captives. The Department of Defense filed justifications for why they should not be obliged to release the information the Associated Press requested. They justified keeping the information secret not to protect the United States "national security", but merely because they were concerned to protect the captive's privacy.

The Department of Defense exhausted their legal appeals and were forced, by a court order, to release the identities of all the Guantanamo captives.

WTOP reports that one of the Mauritanians held in Guantanamo was handed over to the USA by former leader Maaouya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya.[2]

Known Guantanamo captives from Mauritania[edit]

isn name arrival
ISN 706 Mohammad Lameen Sidi Mohammad 2002-08-05 2007-09-26
ISN 757 Ahmed Ould Abd al-Aziz 2002-10-28 2013-05-31
  • On May 31, 2013, Hamoud Ould Nabagha, chairman of a Mauritanian support group for Guantanamo capives, asserted that al-Aziz, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, and a Mauritanian who was being held in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility had been repatriated to Mauritania.[4][5][6][7]
  • On June 1, 2013, the US disputed that they had repatriated any captives in 2013.[8]
ISN 760 Mohamedou Ould Slahi 2002-08-05 2013-05-31
  • Allegedly trained at an Afghan military camp.[9]
  • Allegedly an al Qaida facilitator and recruiter.[10]
  • Alleged to have been an early mentor to members of the Hamburg cell, who were eventually to form the core of the 9-11 hijackers, suggesting they travel to Afghanistan, not Chechnya, where they were to eventually connect to al Qaeda.
  • Transcript to his 2nd Administrative Review Board hearing was withheld.[11]


  1. ^ list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  2. ^ Mauritania Leader Aims to Avoid Oil Curse, WTOP, April 23, 2006 - mirror
  3. ^ "Guantanamo Bay inmate handed over to Mauritanian govt". Afriquenligne. September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  4. ^ Andy Worthington (2013-06-01). "EXCLUSIVE: Two Guantánamo Prisoners Released in Mauritania". Retrieved 2013-06-01. In news that has so far only been available in Arabic, and which I was informed about by a Mauritanian friend on Facebook, I can confirm that two prisoners from Guantánamo have been released, and returned to their home country of Mauritania. 
  5. ^ وصول ولد صلاحي و ولد عبد العزيز لنواكشوط [Access Ould Salahi and Abdel Aziz in Nouakchott] (in Arabic). 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  6. ^ عاجل: وصول ولد الصلاحي وولد عبد العزيز من غوانتنامو إلى نواكشوط [URGENT: Born Salahi access and Ould Abdel Aziz, from Guantánamo to Nouakchott] (in Arabic). 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Guantanamo'daki 2 Moritanyalı Serbest Bırakıldı: Guantanamo'da 10 yıldır tutuklu bulunan 2 Moritanya vatandaşı, ülkelerine gönderildi" [2 Mauritanian citizen detained in Guantanamo for 10 years, was sent to the countries.] (in Turkish). Sondakika. 2013-06-01. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-06-01. Baza americana din Guantanamo Bay de peste 10 ani de închisoare și a fost eliberat două țări au fost livrate la cetățenii din Mauritania spus. Conform informațiilor de la rudele de două Moritanyalının lansat, forțele de securitate americane, Makhdoom Ould Ahmed Ould Salahi și Abdulaziz'i, autoritățile Novakșot din Mauritania predat la aeroport. Familiile au spus că se întâlnesc la petreceri. 
  8. ^ Ahmed Mohamed (2013-06-01). "Mauritania group says 2 prisoners arrive from Guantanamo, but US denies transfer". Nouakchott, Mauritania: Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2013-06-02. The report that the Guantanamo detainees were transferred to Mauritania came from Hamoud Ould Nabagha, chairman of the Support Committee for Guantanamo Prisoners. He said the prisoners include Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, both of whom were held at Guantanamo. The third is El Haj Ould Cheikh El Houssein Youness who was held at the U.S. military base at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, said Nabagha. 
  9. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Mohamedou Ould Slahi'sCombatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 28-38
  10. ^ [ 751-21016.pdf#184 Summarized transcript (.pdf)], from Mohamedou Ould Slahi's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 184
  11. ^ Summarized transcript, from Mohamedou Ould Slahi's second annual Administrative Review Board hearing - page 75