Tariq al-Sawah

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Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah
ISN 00535, Tariq Mahmud Ahmad.jpg
Tariq Mahmud Ahmad's Guantanamo portrait ID
Born (1957-11-02) November 2, 1957 (age 56)
Alexandria, Egypt
Citizenship Egypt
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 535
Charge(s) Charges filed on December 16, 2008. Charges dismissed on March 1, 2012.
Status extrajudicial detention

Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah is a citizen of Egypt currently held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1]

He has been charged with war crimes, but those charges were dismissed.[2][3]

Tariq El-Sawah's charges were dismissed on March 1, 2012. [2] According to the Egypt Independent formerly secret documents, drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and published by the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks in 2011, contradicted the charges al-Sawah had faced.[4]

Background[edit]

Al Sawah was one of the few captives who acknowledged having fought in conflicts like the Bosnian civil war in Yugoslavia that lead to Bosnian independence.[5]

Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah arrived at the Guantanamo detention camps on May 5, 2002, and has been held there for 12 years, 2 months and 18 days.[6][7]

The Long War Journal reports al Sawah joined the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 1981.[5] They report that he was rounded up in the large round-up of Muslim Brotherhood members following the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

The Long War Journal reports that Al Sawah, was a very skilled bomb-maker, who had been trained by Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, the bomb-maker who developed the bomb that destroyed the USS Cole.[5] They reported he had invented an early model of shoe-bomb in the summer of 2001; that he developed new models of magnetic limpet-mines.

However, the FBI found that claims of El Sawah's explosive expertise were the result of novice military interrogators jumping to improper conclusions.[8] [9] Tom Dale, writing for the Egyptian Independent found that there was a "disregard for both fact and coherence on the part of U.S. interrogators." [8]

It is reported that "much of the information given by Guantanamo detainees was confessed under Pentagon-mandated torture," and in the case of El-Sawah, "several former Guantanamo commanders had indicated that El-Sawah was not a threat and recommended his release." [10]

The Washington Post reports that Al Sawah and Mohamedou Ould Slahi were held in a separate compound, where they were extended extra privileges, as they had both chosen to cooperate with intelligence officials.[11]

In August 2012 Al Sawah was the last Egyptian captives in Guantanamo.[5][12]

Al Sawah was seriously wounded by a cluster bomb, prior to apprehension.[11] He gained over 200 pounds during his first four years of detention.[3]

Official status reviews[edit]

Originally the Bush Presidency asserted that captives apprehended in the "war on terror" were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, and could be held indefinitely, without charge, and without an open and transparent review of the justifications for their detention.[13] In 2004 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Rasul v. Bush, that Guantanamo captives were entitled to being informed of the allegations justifying their detention, and were entitled to try to refute them.

Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants[edit]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[13]

Scholars at the Brookings Institute, lead by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[14]

  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are members of Al Qaeda."[14]
  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... traveled to Afghanistan for jihad."[14]
  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."[14]
  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of the captives who was a foreign fighter.[14]
  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of "36 [captives who] openly admit either membership or significant association with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or some other group the government considers militarily hostile to the United States."[14]
  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was listed as one of the captives who had admitted "fighting on behalf of Al Qaeda or the Taliban."[14]

However, El-Sawah has long denied that he was ever a member of Al Qaeda, that he traveled to Afghanistan for jihad, that he took part in terrorist training, that he was hostile towards the United States, or that he fought on behalf of Al-Qaeda. [8] [15]

Habeas corpus petition[edit]

Al Sawah had a writ of habeas corpus filed on his behalf in June 2005.[14]

Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment[edit]

On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts.[16][17] Joint Task Force Guantanamo drafted a fourteen page assessment of al Sawah, dated September 30, 2008.[18] The memo was signed by camp commandant David M. Thomas Jr. and recommended his "Transfer Out of DOD Control."[19]

Faces charges before a Guantanamo military commission[edit]

On December 16, 2008 Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, reported that the Guantanamo military commission prosecutors announced charges had been laid against Tarek el Sawah.[3][15][20]

These charges were later dismissed on March 1, 2012.[2]

El Sawah is represented by Major Sean Gleason, an active-duty Judge Advocate. [21]

Health issues[edit]

Rosenberg noted that the documents the DoD had published showed wild fluctations in his body weight.[3]

In March 2013 the Egypt Independent reported that Tariq's lawyers had arranged for Dr. Sondra Crosby, an associate professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, to examine him on two occasions.[4] A letter from Crosby to camp authorities describes his health as at serious risk, due to his morbid obesity. Nevertheless camp authorities decline to offer him any special treatment, or even to release his medical records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2006-05-15.  Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
  2. ^ a b c Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah". New York Times. Retrieved October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Carol Rosenberg (2008-12-16). "Pentagon files charges against Bosnian-Egyptian". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-16. 
  4. ^ a b Tom Dale (2013-03-06). "Detention continues for last Egyptian in Guantanamo, despite deteriorating health". Egypt Independent. Archived from the original on 2013-03-07. "Detention continues for last Egyptian in Guantanamo, despite deteriorating health" 
  5. ^ a b c d Thomas Joscelyn (2012-08-02). "Egypt requests release of al Qaeda explosives expert". Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. "Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah, a Guantanamo detainee since 2002, became one of the US government's most prolific sources during his time in custody, a leaked Sept. 30, 2008 Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) memo shows." 
  6. ^ JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2008-12-22.  mirror
  7. ^ "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)". Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original on 2009-12-21. 
  8. ^ a b c Dale, Tom (2012-07-22). "Egypt's last Guantanamo detainee in fight for freedom and truth". Egypt Independent. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. 
  9. ^ Soufon, Ali H. (2011). The Black Banners. Norton, 2011. 
  10. ^ Osman El Sharnoubi (2012-09-11). "11 years after 9/11, Egyptian still languishes in Guantanamo". Ahram Online. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. 
  11. ^ a b Peter Finn (2010-03-24). "For two detainees who told what they knew, Guantanamo becomes a gilded cage". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. 
  12. ^ Dan Taglioli (2012-08-03). "Egypt requests release of its last citizen held at Guantanamo". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. 
  13. ^ a b "U.S. military reviews 'enemy combatant' use". USA Today. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11. "Critics called it an overdue acknowledgment that the so-called Combatant Status Review Tribunals are unfairly geared toward labeling detainees the enemy, even when they pose little danger. Simply redoing the tribunals won't fix the problem, they said, because the system still allows coerced evidence and denies detainees legal representation." 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institute. Retrieved 2010-02-16. "Al Sani said he traveled to Afghanistan shortly before September 11 and trained on a Kalashnikov. “I felt it was important in coming of age,” he said. “I went to Afghanistan for weapons training, not to fight anyone.”"  mirror
  15. ^ a b "Pentagon documents on Tarek el Sawah". Department of Defense. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  mirror
  16. ^ Christopher Hope, Robert Winnett, Holly Watt, Heidi Blake (2011-04-27). "WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed -- Guantanamo Bay has been used to incarcerate dozens of terrorists who have admitted plotting terrifying attacks against the West – while imprisoning more than 150 totally innocent people, top-secret files disclose". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-07-13. "The Daily Telegraph, along with other newspapers including The Washington Post, today exposes America’s own analysis of almost ten years of controversial interrogations on the world’s most dangerous terrorists. This newspaper has been shown thousands of pages of top-secret files obtained by the WikiLeaks website." 
  17. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  18. ^ "Tariq Mahmud Ahmad Al Sawah: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Tariq Mahmud Ahmad Al Sawah, US9EG-000535DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. "Health: Detainee is on a list of high-risk detainees from a health perspective but is in overall fair health. Detainee is closely watched for significant and chronic problems" 
  19. ^ David M. Thomas Jr. (2008-09-30). "Recommendation for Transfer out of DoD Control (TRO) for Guantanamo Detainee, ISN US9AG". Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Retrieved 2011-05-26.  Media related to ISN 00535, Tariq Mahmud Ahmad at Wikimedia Commons
  20. ^ "Charge sheet against Tarek el Sawah". Department of Defense. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  mirror
  21. ^ Ernesto Londoño and Ingy Hassieb (2012-08-03). "Egypt demands release of Guantanamo detainee". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 

External links[edit]