Abu Sufian bin Qumu

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Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu
Born (1959-06-26) 26 June 1959 (age 60)
Derna, Libya
Detained atGuantanamo
Alternate name
  • Arabic: أبو سفيان إبراهيم أحمد حمودة بن قمو
  • Soufian bin Qamou
Charge(s)No charge (held in extrajudicial detention)
StatusRepatriated to Libyan custody; allegedly became a rebel commander in the Libyan civil war, allegedly founded a branch of the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia group

Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu (Arabic: أبو سفيان إبراهيم أحمد حمودة بن قمو‎, born 26 June 1959) is a citizen of Libya who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts report he was born on 26 June 1959, in Derna, Libya.

Bin Qumu was transferred to Libya on 28 September 2007.[2] In 2011, he was the leader of a band of fighters in his hometown of Derna during the 2011 Libyan civil war.[3] After the war, he led the militant Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia's Derna branch.[4]

Prior History[edit]

A disclosed file from 2005 on WikiLeaks alleged that he served as a tank driver in the Libyan army. He later allegedly traveled to Afghanistan and trained in Bin Laden's Torkham Camp. After fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, he allegedly worked as a truck driver for Wadi Al-'Aqiq, one of Bin Laden's companies in Suba, Sudan. He later joined the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, joined the Taliban in 1998, and he was a "probable member of Al Qaida and a member of the African Extremist Network."[3][5]

Repatriation and release[edit]

Bin Qumu was reported to have been released in October 2007.[6] He was transferred to Libya on 28 September 2007 [7] and was released from Abu Salim prison in 2010 following an amnesty for political prisoners.[8]

Libyan Civil War[edit]

Abu Sufian bin Qumu
Born (1959-06-26) 26 June 1959 (age 60)
Derna, Libya
AllegianceLibya National Transitional Council (2011–)
Service/branchFlag of Libya (1951–1969).svg National Liberation Army
Battles/wars2011 Libyan civil war

In 2011, Bin Qumu became the leader of a band of fighters in his hometown of Derna called Ansar al-Sharia during the 2011 Libyan civil war.[3][9]

It was reported that Bin Qumu was possibly involved with, and may have led, the 11 September 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four US Diplomats were killed including US Ambassador Chris Stevens.[10] A US national security official subsequently stated to Mother Jones that the "report is wrong, there's no intelligence suggesting that he was leading the attack on the consulate that evening."[11] However, other US officials have since confirmed that Bin Qumu was likely present and played a role in the attack.[12]

On 10 January 2014, the U.S. Department of State listed Bin Qumu as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.[13]

On June 17, 2018, Al Arabiya reported that bin Qumu was taken into custody when the Libyan Army captured the last stronghold of Ansar al-Sharia, in Derna.[14][15] They reported he had not played a prominent role in the organization.


  1. ^ OARDEC (15 May 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through 15 May 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  2. ^ Margot Williams (3 November 2008). "Guantanamo Docket: Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c Holly Watt (26 April 2011). "WikiLeaks: Guantanamo detainee is now Libyan rebel leader". London: The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  4. ^ Aaron Zelin (21 September 2012). "Know Your Ansar al-Sharia". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  5. ^ Jay W. Hood (22 April 2005). "Update Recommendation to Transfer to the Control of Another Country for Continued Detention (TRCD) for Guantanamo Detainee ISN: US9LY-000557DP (S)" (PDF). JTF-GTMO. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. EC Status: Detainee's enemy combatant status was reassessed on 2 November 2004, and he remains an enemy combatant.
  6. ^ "Pentagon frees eight Guantanamo detainees: The U.S. Supreme Court opens a new term with a detainee-rights issue". The Spectator. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2008.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Libya releases 37 militant Islamists". EarthTimes.org. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  9. ^ Charles Levison (2 April 2011). "Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels". Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Bret Baier - Contributed (19 September 2012). "Al Qaeda, ex-Gitmo detainee involved in consulate attack, intelligence sources say". Fox News.
  11. ^ "Obama Official Says No Evidence Gitmo Detainee Behind Benghazi Attack". Mother Jones. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  12. ^ Adam Goldman (7 January 2014). "Former Guantanamo detainee implicated in Benghazi attack". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2018. Witnesses have told American officials that Qumu’s men were in Benghazi before the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, according to the officials. It’s unclear whether they were there as part of a planned attack or out of happenstance. The drive from Darnah to Benghazi takes several hours.
  13. ^ Office of the Spokesperson (10 January 2014). "Terrorist Designations of Three Ansar al-Shari'a Organizations and Leaders". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  14. ^ Mohammed al-Arabi (17 June 2018). "Libyan army arrests former bin Laden driver Abu Sufian bin Qumu in Derna". Al Arabiya. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018. In 2011, he managed to escape from prison during the fall of Tripoli at the hands of rebels, to return to his hometown of Derna where he established the Ansar al-Sharia extremist group. But for the past seven years, he was one of the leading figures in the shadow of extremist groups in Libya and was not prominent.
  15. ^ "Libyan Army Arrested Osama Bin Laden's Former Driver". Al Bawaba. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018. The sources said the LNA will question bin Qamou at the headquarters of Commander Khalifa Haftar in Rajmeh, which lies outside the eastern city of Benghazi.

External links[edit]

Media related to File:ISN 00557, Abu Sufyan Ben Qumu's Guantanamo detainee assessment.pdf at Wikimedia Commons