Ahmed al-Darbi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ahmed Muhammed Haza al-Darbi
Born (1975-01-09) January 9, 1975 (age 40)
Ta'if, Saudi Arabia
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Abdul Aziz al-Janoubi
ISN 768
Charge(s) Five war crimes, including terrorism, attacking civilians and hazarding a vessel
Status Pleaded guilty[1]

Ahmed Muhammed Haza al-Darbi (Arabic: احمد محمد هزاع آل الدربي‎) is a citizen of Saudi Arabia currently held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[2] Al-Darbi was born on January 9, 1975, in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia. As of early 2010, al-Darbi has been confined at the Guantanamo camps for almost seven years.[3]


The brother-in-law of Khalid al-Mihdhar, al-Darbi was captured in Azerbaijan and was renditioned into Afghanistan.[4] There he was held in the Bagram Collection Point, while it was still under control of Alpha Company of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion who routinely beat their captives, resulting in the deaths of two prisoners on December 4, 2001 and December 10, 2001. Al-Darbi identified Damien M. Corsetti, a soldier nicknamed "the King of Torture" by his fellow GIs, as one of his abusers.[5]

Corsetti's lawyer asserts that al-Darbi's claims of abuse are not credible.[citation needed] Corsetti's lawyers claim al Darbi repeats the meme al Qaeda training manuals instruct captives to lie about abuse, and asserts that Al Darbi is following those instructions.[citation needed]

Further information: Manchester manual

Department of Defense spokesmen have announced that al-Darbi will not be allowed to testify at Corsetti's court martial.[6]

On December 21, 2007 charges against Ahmed Muhammed Haza al-Darbi were referred to the convening authority for the Office of Military Commissions.[7][8][9]

United States v. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi[edit]

On December 21, 2007 charges against Ahmed Muhammed Haza al-Darbi were referred to Susan Crawford, who approved them to continue to trial.[7][8][9] He was charged, among other things, with the 2002 attack on the MV Limburg:

"Conspiring with others, to attack civilians, to murder in violation of the law of war, to destroy property in violation of the law of war, to hazard a vessel and to commit terrorism, and Providing Material Support to Terrorism."[9]
  • He had trained at the Jihad Wahl training camp;
  • He transferred funds to finance the plot to attack shipping;
  • He purchased a vessel, registered in Sao Tome, to use in the attacks.

In April 2008 he announced that he refused to participate in the tribunal as he believed it lacked legitimacy, and dismissed his military lawyer Brian Broyles who called the refusal a "reasonable decision".[4]

According to the Associated Press, at a hearing in December 2008 he had "held up a photo of President Barack Obama as a sign of hope."[10] According to the Associated Press, a note he wrote to his lawyer about Obama said he could: ""earn back the legitimacy the United States has lost in the eyes of the world,"

Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, reported that Commission President James Pohl scheduled a hearing for May 27, 2009, to rule on how much of the evidence against Al Darbi was coerced through torture.[11]

At a hearing on September 23, 2009 his Presiding Officer of his military commission agreed to a further sixty day delay.[10] His lawyer Ramzi Kassem told reporters after the hearing that Al Darbi had written a brief note, addressed to President Obama, that he had hoped to read aloud at the hearing. Kassem read the note aloud to reporters. The Associated Press quoted passages from the note.

On February 5, 2014, Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, reported that the Pentagon had decided to "go forward" with the new charges against al-Darbi.[12] The Associated Press reported that the new charges had first been proposed in 2012.[13]

Attempts to get Mohamedou Ould Slahi to testify against al-Darbi[edit]

On July 30, 2015, Spencer Ackerman, reporting in The Guardian, described the measures al-Darbi's prosecution team was prepared to take to try to acquire incriminating evidence.[14] In 2009 US District Court Judge James Robertson had issued a special ruling, that Mohamedou Ould Slahi could no longer be interrogated. Slahi was subjected to months of horrific, well-documented torture. After ten years of legal struggle Slahi's lawyers were able to get most of Slahi's memoirs declassified. His memoirs earned a place on the New York Times bestseller list.

Camp authorities tried to cut off Slahi's contact with his lawyers, after the publication of his memoirs.[14][15] In April his lawyers learned that Slahi had written them to describe how camp authorities had seized all his personal belonging, and all his privileged case documents. He described how they seized his "comfort items". During the Bush administration camp authortities, under the guidance of rogue mental health professionals, would withhold individuals clothes and their toiletries, their soap, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo.

Slahi told his lawyers that he had been visited by al-Darbi's prosecution team, who promised him that if he voluntarily agreed to allow them to interrogate him about al-Darbi, they would arrange to have his belongings gradually returned to him.[14]

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.[16] 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]

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3x5 meter trailer where the captive sat with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[17][18]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[16][19]

Scholars at the Brookings Institution, led by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[20]

  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the captives who had faced charges before a military commission.[20]
  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are associated with both Al Qaeda and the Taliban."[20]
  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."[20]
  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the captives who was ab "al Qaeda operative".[20]
  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the captives "who have been charged before military commissions and are alleged Al Qaeda operatives."[20]
  • Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi was listed as one of the "82 detainees made no statement to CSRT or ARB tribunals or made statements that do not bear materially on the military’s allegations against them."[20]

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.[21][22] Al Darbi's assessment was drafted on October 1, 2004.[23] It was eight pages long, and was signed by camp commandant Brigadier General Jay W. Hood. He recommended continued detention.

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.[24][25][26] 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.[27] Ahmed al-Darbi was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Although Obama promised that those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board less than a quarter of men have received a review.


  1. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/guantanamo-prisoner-military-tribunal-22597525
  2. ^ OARDEC (2006-05-15). "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  3. ^ "Ahmed Muhammed Haza al Darbi – The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Andy Worthington (2008-04-20). "The US military’s shameless propaganda over Guantánamo’s 9/11 trials". Archived from the original on 2009-089-23.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)
  5. ^ Trial under way for soldier in Afghan prisoner abuse case, Star Telegram, May 30, 2006
  6. ^ Soldier pleads not guilty in detainee harm, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 28, 2006
  7. ^ a b "Guantanamo Detainee Charged". United States Department of Defense. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Guantanamo Bay detainee accused in terror plot". CNN. December 21, 2007. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  9. ^ a b c Office of Military Commissions (January 2007). "MC Form 458 Jan 2007 - Charges in United States v. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza Al Darbi" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 1–6. Retrieved 2007-12-23.  [dead link]
  10. ^ a b Ben Fox (2009-09-23). "Guantanamo prisoner says he's lost hope in Obama". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2009-05-10). "Judge won't delay May 27 war court session". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-05-12. 
  12. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2014-02-05). "Pentagon prosecuting Saudi at Guantánamo for 2002 French oil tanker bombing". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2014-02-06. The Pentagon has decided to go forward with a war crimes case against a Saudi man accused of planning the suicide bombing of an oil tanker off Yemen that took place two months after he was already imprisoned at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. 
  13. ^ "Kin of 9/11 Hijacker to Face Judge in Guantanamo". Miami: ABC News. 2014-02-06. Archived from the original on 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-02-05. The charges were filed in August 2012 subject to approval by a Pentagon legal official. The approval announced Wednesday means al-Darbi must be arraigned within 30 days at the U.S. base in Cuba. 
  14. ^ a b c Spencer Ackerman (2015-07-29). "Guantánamo detainee says his 'comfort items' were taken to force interrogations". New York City: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2015-07-31. Retrieved 2015-07-30. Slahi alleged that the military “prosecuting team” pursuing confessed terrorist Ahmed al-Darbi “offered to help me on condition to ask the court to lift its order regarding my interrogation”. 
  15. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2015-06-10). "‘Guantánamo Diary’ author seeks parole hearing, return of belongings". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  18. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  19. ^ "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24.  mirror
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study" (PDF). The Brookings Institution. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  23. ^ "Ahmad Muhammad Haza Al Darbi: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Ahmad Muhammad Haza Al Darbi, US9SA-000768DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ 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. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]