Taj Mohammed (Guantanamo Bay detainee)
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|Born||1981 (age 33–34)|
Taj Mohammed is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 902. Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts estimate Mohammed was born in 1981. He was repatriated in 2006.
Mohammed told his Tribunal: "I was a shepherd, and I never can even go out very much, and I was always with my goats on the mountain, These are all lies about me."
On June 15, 2008 the McClatchy News Service published a series of articles based on interviews with 66 former Guantanamo captives. Taj Mohammed was one of thee former captives who had an article profiling him.
Taj Mohammed reported being sexually harassed during his interrogations. He reported that guards desecrated the Koran. According to his McClatchy interviewer Taj Mohammed tried to retaliate:
"I got into fights (with guards) because of bad meals, because of them abusing the Quran, because they didn't give us enough time in the shower," Mohammed said. "When they searched our cells the soldiers would flip through our Qurans. The detainees did not like this. We would throw water and shit on the soldiers; we would spit at them. If we could reach the soldiers we would punch them."
According to the McClatchy profile of him Taj Mohammed was radicalized in Guantanamo and said he beat less religious captives. The article said his lawyers, Paul Rashkind, was taken aback when told of these assertions, and questioned whether the McClatchy interviewer may have been taken in by an impostor.
According to the McClatchy interviewer Taj Mohammed was mentored and given lessons in Arabic and the Koran by Yemeni captive Ali Abdullah Ahmed -- one of the three men camp authorities reported committed suicide on June 10, 2006.
According to the McClatchy interviewer Taj Mohammed spent nine months in Camp four in 2005, the camp where "compliant" captives were allowed to mingle with other captives. He was, however, demoted when he slapped a female doctor.
ABC News reported on February 22, 2010, that Taj Mohammed was employed by the Agribusiness Development Team, an Provincial Reconstruction Team development project with participation from the US military. He works as a translator. He is reported to be surprisingly fluent in both English and Spanish—learned in Guantanamo.
On January 16, 2010, the Department of Defense was forced to publish the names of the 645 captives held in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. One of the individuals on the list was named Taj Mohammed.
- OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Guantanamo Inmate Database: Taj Mohammed". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-06-22. mirror
- Mahvish Khan (April 30, 2006). "My Guantanamo Diary: Face to Face With the War on Terrorism". Washington Post. pp. B01. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Sketches of Guantanamo Detainees-Part I, WTOP, March 15, 2006
- Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Guantanamo Inmate Database: Page 1". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-06-16. mirror
- Karen Russo (2010-02-22). "Exclusive: Former Gitmo Detainee Now Working for U.S.". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
Mohammed, a sheep herder from Kunar Province, was imprisoned for nearly four years at Gitmo. He said he doesn't harbor hard feelings about his four years of captivity, suggesting it was his destiny. He used the time praying and learning about the Koran. He also worked on his English and learned Spanish, he says, from members of the Puerto Rican National Guard assigned to Gitmo.
- "Bagram detainees" (PDF). Department of Defense. 2009-09-22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-17.
- The Stories of the Afghans Just Released from Guantánamo: Intelligence Failures, Battlefield Myths and Unaccountable Prisons in Afghanistan (Part Two) Andy Worthington
- McClatchy News Service - video