August 5, 1968 |
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
|Detained at||CIA black site
|Charge(s)||Faces charges before a military commission, no trial yet.|
Mustafa al-Hawsawi (Arabic: مصطفى الهوساوي, Muṣṭafā al-Ḥawsāwī; born August 5, 1968) is a Saudi Arabian citizen and a member of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. He allegedly is an organizer and financier of the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Hawsawi was captured on March 1, 2003, along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan and transferred to CIA custody. It detained him at the Salt Pit, a secret black site in Afghanistan. It was reported in August 2010 that, after months of interrogation, the CIA transferred al-Hawsawi and three other high-value detainees to Guantanamo Bay detention camp on September 24, 2003 for indefinite detention. Fearing that Rasul v. Bush, a pending Supreme Court case about detainees' habeas corpus rights, might result in having to provide the men with access to counsel, the CIA took back custody on March 27, 2004 and transported the four men to one of their black sites.
Hawsawi was transferred from CIA custody to military custody at Guantanamo on September 6, 2006. The Bush administration was then confident of passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which restricted detainee use of habeas corpus and prohibited them from using the federal court system. (This provision was ruled unconstitutional in Boumediene v. Bush (2008) and numerous habeas corpus petitions were refiled in federal courts.) Al-Hawsawi was represented by the lawyer Jon S. Jackson.
His alternate names and aliases include "Mustafa Ahmed", "Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad", "Ahmad Mustafa", "Isam Mansour", "Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hisawi", "Mr. Ali", and "Hani (Fawaz Trading)".
Together with the al-Qaeda financer Ammar al-Baluchi, Hawsawi allegedly assisted the hijackers from the United Arab Emirates who were to carry out the 9/11 attacks in the United States. He helped coordinate with Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the operation, to bring the "muscle hijackers" into the United States in 2001. He allegedly tried to help the so-called "20th hijacker", Mohammed al Qahtani, gain entry into the United States by visa, but al Qahtani was unable to gain approval.
Allegedly sharing a credit card account with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Hawsawi also allegedly sent funds to the hijackers. In the Summer of 2000, he appears to have sent a total of $109,910 to some of the 9/11 hijackers in a series of wire transfers under a variety of names. The New York Times has suggested that "Mustafa Ahmed" sent a total of $325,000 to the hijackers, but the 9/11 Commission verified only $15,000 of this.
Just before the attacks, Hawsawi travelled to Pakistan. He was captured by authorities there on March 1, 2003, and was reported taken to the U.S. Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The CIA maintained a detention and interrogation site there. This was not confirmed by U.S. officials.
In the indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui, al-Hawsawi is said to have been born in Jeddah on August 5, 1968. Zacarias Moussaoui's defence team identified al-Hawsawi and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as among three men they wanted to question as witnesses. The U.S. Federal government claims to be holding both men, but it refused Moussaoui's request citing national security concerns.
Questions from Salim Ahmed Hamdan's defense attorney
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On 23 April 2008, attorneys working on behalf of Salim Ahmed Hamdan requested permission to meet with Abdulmalik Mohammed and Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Hamdan's attorneys had previously requested permission to get the "high-value detainees" to answer written questions. They believed the men would confirm that if Hamdan played a role in al Qaeda, it had been a peripheral one. Abdulmalik Mohammed and Mustafa al-Hawsawi declined to answer the questions, because they said they had no way to know that the questions purporting to be from Hamdan's attorneys were not a ruse. Andrea J. Prasow requested permission for Lieutenant Commander Brian Mizer to meet in person with the two men to try to assure them that the questions were not a ruse, and would not be shared with their interrogators.
Military commission trial
In June 2008, Hawsawi and four other "high-value detainees:" (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi and Walid Bin Attash) were charged in a military commission trial. The charges included 2,973 individual counts of murder, one for each person killed in the September 11 attacks, as well as conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, terrorism and providing material support for terrorism. The judge ordered Hawsawi and bin al-Shibh to undergo mental competency hearings. On December 8, 2008, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the judge that he and the other four indictees wished to confess and plead guilty; however, the plea would be delayed until after the competency hearings for Hawsawi and bin al-Shibh so that all five men could make their plea together.
In May 2009, Al Arabiya reported that Montasser al-Zayyat, a prominent Saudi Arabian attorney, had been invited to defend Hawsawi. Al Zayat described suspecting, at first, that he was the target of a hoax.
- Indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui, with supporting conspirators, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
- "Detainee Biographies" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Archived from the original on date=2009-08-31. Check date values in:
- "Bush: CIA holds terror suspects in secret prisons". CNN. September 7, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-10.[dead link]
- "Document links al Qaeda paymaster, 9/11 plotter", Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2002
- Mustafa al-Hawsawi", Cageprisoners
- Andrea J. Prasow (2008-04-23). "U.S. v. Hamdan - Special Request for Relief - Supplement". Office of Military Commissions. Retrieved 2008-12-25. mirror
- "Guantanamo 9/11 suspects on trial". BBC News. June 6, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- "Top 9/11 suspects to plead guilty". BBC News. December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
- Khaled Mahmoud (2009-05-11). "US appoints Islamist lawyer to Gitmo detainee". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27.
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- Information on Hawsawi and 13 other detainees, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- The Final 9/11 Commission Report
- Alleged al Qaeda paymaster in custody - CNN
- Indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui
- Pentagon charges 6 in 9-11 attacks, MSNBC
- 'Clean team interrogated 9-11 suspects, MSNBC