Abdulmalik Mohammed

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Abdulmalik Mohammed
Abdulmalik family photo.jpg
ArrestedFebruary 2007
Detained atGuantanamo
Alternate nameWahab Mohamed Abdulmalik, Abdul Malik
Charge(s)No charge
StatusStill held in Guantanamo

Abdulmalik Mohammed is a citizen of Kenya currently held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. He was born in Busia, Uganda in 1973, but has Kenyan citizenship.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Abdulmalik was captured in February 2007, on suspicion of leading a terrorist bomb-plot in Mombassa. He was transferred to Guantanamo on 26 March 2007. Abdulmalik is a confirmed member of the East Africa al-Qaeda network as well as a confirmed member of the Council of Islamic Courts and the Islamic Part of Kenya. He "actively participated" in the facilitation of weapons and the planning of terrorist acts against the U.S., according to the Joint Task Force (JTF) at Guantanamo Bay. He was recommended for continued detention under the Department of Defense's control. The JTF gave Abdulmalik a high risk threat against the United States' interests and allies. He has no reports of disciplinary infractions as of May 22, 2007, granting him a low detention risk value. Abdulmalik does, however, have a high intelligence value.[10]

According to Kenya's Daily Nation Abdulmalik was a protégé of Harun Fazul, described as "...the most wanted terror suspect in the region."[2]

According to Kenya's Daily Nation:[2]

Sources say Mr Abdulmalik gave useful information to the police before he turned hostile, prompting his transfer to the high security prison at Guantanamo Bay.

According to a British Broadcasting Corporation report from 4 May 2007 Abdulmalik Mohammed confessed, under interrogation, to a role in the 2002 bombing of the Paradise Hotel in Mombassa.[5][11] According to the BBC report Abdulmalik Mohammed had been transferred to Guantanamo a month earlier.

Questions from Salim Ahmed Hamdan's defense attorney[edit]

On 23 April 2008 attorneys working on behalf of Salim Ahmed Hamdan requested permission to meet with Abdul Malik and Mustafa al-Hawsawi.[12] Hamdan's attorneys had previously requested permission to get the "high-value detainees" to answer written questions, which would confirm that if Hamdan played a role in al Qaeda it had been a peripheral one. Abdul Malik 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 was 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.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal[edit]

Abdulmalik Mohamed has not had a Combatant Status Review Tribunal convened to confirm or refute whether he should be classed as an "enemy combatant".[13] In an interview with the East Africa Standard Abdulmalik Mohamed's lawyer Clara Gutteridge described the difficulties Reprieve had first with meeting with him, and later to get their notes released after a security check. They were told that the meeting, and the release of notes, were not permitted until a captive had their Combatant Status Review Tribunal. But Guantanamo authorities failed to schedule his Combatant Status Review Tribunal

In her interview Gutteridge speculated that the reason Abdulmalik Mohamed never had a Combatant Status Review Tribunal scheduled is that the USA had no evidence to justify his detention.[13] She said he had been transferred to camp 4, the camp for the most privilege, most compliant captives, two months after his arrival in Guantanamo, and that FBI interrogators had told him they did not believe he belonged in Guantanamo, and there was an order in Washington for his release.

Gutteridge said Reprieve successfully litigated to get access to Abdulmalik Mohamed in early 2008, but their notes had not been cleared, and they had not been allowed to talk about them until early October 2008.[13]

Gutteridge said that when Reprieve finally got access to Abdulmalik he informed them that he had been abused both when he was in Kenyan custody, and later in American custody.[13] He informed them that he had been held in Bagram and Kabul, prior to his transfer to Guantanamo.


The BBC reported on December 11, 2009 Abdul Malik's family is suing the Kenyan government over its role in his detention in Guantanamo.[14] The BBC reports that his family have an affidavit from Kenyan police stating that they have no reason to suspect that he has any ties to terrorism. His first hearing is scheduled for 14 January 2010.

The Associated Press reports that he has had a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, but that the United States Department of Defense has refused to make public a transcript as it has for all of the other captives.[15] According to the Associated Press DoD spokesman Major Tanya Bradsher asserted that the transcript from his CSR Tribunal remained classified.

The Associated Press quoted Cori Crider, of the human rights organization Reprieve, which has helped with his defense.[15] Crider claimed that the allegations against him were all based on confession coerced through torture. Crider claimed that Kenyan interrogators had threatened to castrate him if he did not confess to the allegations leveled against him.

Kenyan law allows the Police to hold suspects for 14 days, before they lay a charge.[16] The lawsuit filed on Abdulmalik's behalf says police held him for longer than the 14 days the law allows, from February 13, 2007 to February 27, 2007, in addition to subjecting him to abusive interrogation techniques, and not letting him consult legal advice. Kenyan Police officials assert that he was held for less than 14 days, and that he was released—that they did not hand him over to US officials.

According to The Standard Kenyan Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo "broke silence" and requested the United States to repatriate Abdulmalik in December 2009.[17]

In April 2010 Reuters and the Associated Press reported that the Kenyan Foreign Ministry had written to Abdulmalik's lawyers, informing them that they had initiated the process of getting him repatriated.[18][19]

Joint Review Task Force[edit]

When he assumed office in January 2009 President Barack Obama made a number of promises about the future of Guantanamo.[20][21][22] He promised the use of torture would cease at the camp. He promised to institute a new review system. That new review system was composed of officials from six departments, where the OARDEC reviews were conducted entirely by the Department of Defense. When it reported back, a year later, the Joint Review Task Force classified some individuals as too dangerous to be transferred from Guantanamo, even though there was no evidence to justify laying charges against them. On April 9, 2013, that document was made public after a Freedom of Information Act request.[23]

Abdulmalik Mohammed was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Obama promised that those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board. Mohammed was denied approval for transfer on June 9, 2016.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Innocent' Kenyan held in Guantanamo Bay for nine years". BBC News. 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-10-25. Kenyan citizen Mohamed Abdulmalik was seized in Mombasa nine years ago, eventually ending up at the US' Guantanamo Bay detention centre, where he is still being held.
  2. ^ a b c Abdulsamad Ali (July 16, 2007). "Arrest averted terror attack". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  3. ^ "Kenya suspect moved to Guantanamo". al Jazeera. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2007-11-19. mirror
  4. ^ "Terror suspect's transfer to Guantanamo stokes controversy". Angola Press. 2007-03-29. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  5. ^ a b "How terror suspects were flown out of Kenya". 2008-07-29. Archived from the original on 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-29. One Abdulmalik Mohamed, said to be a Kenyan citizen and suspected of being involved in the bombing of Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, was arrested in Kenya and handed to foreign agents who flew him to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after being held in custody in Mombasa and Nairobi.
  6. ^ "Hicks Pleads Guilty; New Detainee Arrives". Human Rights Watch. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  7. ^ Mike Mount (March 26, 2007). "Kenyan hotel bombing suspect sent to Guantanamo Bay". CNN. Archived from the original on 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  8. ^ Nick Rankin (10 November 2007). "US Navy in Kenya goodwill mission". BBC. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Otsieno Namwaya (2007-08-05). "Kenya: Rights Group Faults Anti-Terror Tactics". All Africa. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  10. ^ United States. Joint Task Force. Guantanamo Files. 2011. Web. <https://wikileaks.org/gitmo/isn.html>.
  11. ^ "Kenya gets US anti-terror funds". BBC News. 2007-05-04. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-19. US officials say Mr Mohammed had confessed to having taken part in the 2002 attack on an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa.
  12. ^ Andrea J. Prasow (2008-04-23). "U.S. v. Hamdan - Special Request for Relief - Supplement". Office of Military Commissions. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  13. ^ a b c d "Detained in Guantanamo Bay". East Africa Standard. 2008-10-29. Archived from the original on 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  14. ^ "Kenya government sued over Guantanamo Bay detention". BBC News. 2009-12-11. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15.
  15. ^ a b Tom Odula, Jason Straziuso (2009-12-10). "Family of Gitmo detainee sues Kenya gov't for $30M". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15.
  16. ^ Carol Rwenji (2009-12-09). "Kenya could pay Sh2bn to terror suspect". Daily Nation. Archived from the original on 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  17. ^ Philip Mwakio (2009-12-11). "Mutula asks US to return detained Kenyan". The Standard. Retrieved 2009-12-15. Mutula said it was foolhardy for the US Government to speak on reforms and human rights violations yet it continues to have in its custody people like Abdulmalik. He challenged US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger to lead by example.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Kenya seeks repatriation of Guantanamo detainee". Reuters. 2010-04-07. Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08. "The Ministry wishes to inform you that the Minister ... Moses Wetang'ula, has initiated the process of addressing the case of Abdulmalik's repatriation back home," the ministry said in its letter to Mbugua Mureithi and Company Advocates.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  19. ^ Tom Odula (2010-04-07). "Kenya seeks return of citizen held at Gitmo". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08. Abdulmalik's family maintains that he was held in Kenyan custody without charge longer than Kenyan law allows and was tortured by Kenyan officials. Abdulmalik's family said he told them that U.S. officials later took him from Kenya to the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, which hosts a U.S. military base. He told them he was then taken to Afghanistan and from there to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  20. ^ Peter Finn (January 22, 2010). "Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  21. ^ Peter Finn (May 29, 2010). "Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters, task force report says". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  22. ^ Andy Worthington (June 11, 2010). "Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo?". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  23. ^ "71 Guantanamo Detainees Determined Eligible to Receive a Periodic Review Board as of April 19, 2013". Joint Review Task Force. 2013-04-09. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  24. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article83096432.html

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