Brahim Yadel is a citizen of France held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 371, The Department of Defense reports that he was born on March 17, 1971, in Aubervilliers, France.
Although originally convicted in France, his trial was overturned and he was released in February 2009. On February 17, 2010, the Court of Cassation, the highest court in France, ordered a re-trial of Brahim Yadel and four other men.
Allegations of ties to terrorism
A Time magazine article, published on March 16, 2003, reported that Brahim Yadel was recruited by Karim Bourti. According to the article Karim Bourti was: "...a self-described Paris-based recruiter for international jihad."
Brahim Yadel, and three other French Guantanamo captives, were repatriated to French custody on July 28, 2004, Brahim Yadel was repatriated to France one day prior to the institution of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals in July 2004.
The trial was delayed to allow an investigation into the conduct of French intelligence agents who interrogated the men in Guantanamo. France had insisted French agents had not interrogated the men in Guantanamo. But leaked memos showed this was untrue.
Judge Jean-Claude Kross apologized, saying: "I am sorry, we have to start again from scratch.".
The Prosecutor has recommended lenient, one-year prison sentences, to take into account their "abnormal detention" in Guantanamo.
Conviction and appeal
Brahim Yadel, and four other French citizens, were convicted in 2007 of "criminal association with a terrorist enterprise." They had their convictions overturned on appeal on February 24, 2009. Their convictions were overturned because they were based on interrogations conducted in Guantanamo, and the interrogations were conducted by French security officials, not law enforcement officials.
On June 15, 2008 the McClatchy News Service published articles based on interviews with 66 former Guantanamo captives. McClatchy reporters interviewed Brahim Yadel in France. According to his McClatchy interviewer Brahim Yadel was disgusted by al Qaeda's attacks on September 11, 2001, and tried to flee Afghanistan immediately after he heard of them, and never engaged in hostilities against US forces. However he acknowledged receiving military training in Afghanistan, and: "...even took advanced al Qaida courses in electronics that would have led to bomb making."'
- "I always differentiated between war to defend Islam and terrorism. I went to Afghanistan to defend Islam, for jihad. Had this been a military engagement, I would have stood and fought. Of course, it was not, and I wanted nothing to do with it."
- "I simply told the truth, that I wished to be a soldier to fight soldiers, that I had no intention of fighting civilians. I always told the entire truth. I think they respected that."
- He told his McClatchy interviewer that he saw the USS Cole as a legitimate military target, but felt his non-western companions in Afghanistan had no idea how appalling the attack on the World Trade Center was:
- "I knew bin Laden was against the Americans," he said. "In the logic of war, attacking a warship made sense. It wasn't my battle, but I could understand it. Unlike the Afghans, I'd grown up in Western culture, which means American culture. They didn't understand the enormity of what had happened. I did. It was horrible. I didn't believe in this war."
- list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
- New York Times, Terror convictions overturned in France, February 24, 2009
- Nicolas Vaux-Montagny (2010-02-17). "France orders 5 former Gitmo inmates back to court". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17.
- Bruce Crumley (March 16, 2003). "Uncle Osama Wants You". Time (magazine). Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- Clara Beyler (February 16, 2006). "The Jihadist Threat in France". The Hudson Institute. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
- Elaine Sciolino (July 28, 2004). "4 Detainees Are Returned to France After 2 Years at Guantánamo". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- "6 French Guantanamo detainees repatriated: report". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. July 27, 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- "US hands over four French terror suspects". China Daily. July 27, 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, April 20, 2006
- "France: Court Rejects Appeal Of Guantánamo Men". New York Times. August 10, 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- "France tries Guantanamo suspects". BBC. July 3, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
- "Ex-Guantanamo French 'face trial'". BBC News. April 24, 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Craig S. Smith (July 3, 2006). "6 once held in Guantánamo go on trial in France". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- "France 2006". The Knowledge Base.
- "Verdict for 'Guantanamo six' delayed". September 26, 2006.
- John Lichfield (July 6, 2006). "French agents questioned detainees in Guantanamo". The Independent.
- "Paris Court Acquits Former Guantanamo Detainees". Huffington Post. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Guantanamo Inmate Database: Page 3". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- Tom Lasseter (June 18, 2008). "U.S. hasn't apologized to or compensated ex-detainees". Myrtle Beach Sun. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Pentagon declined to answer questions about detainees". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Tom Lasseter (June 16, 2008). "Documents undercut Pentagon's denial of routine abuse". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Tom Lasseter (June 19, 2008). "Deck stacked against detainees in legal proceedings". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Tom Lasseter (June 16, 2008). "U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Tom Lasseter (June 15, 2008). "Guantanamo Inmate Database: Brahim Yadel". McClatchy News Service. Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- "Transfer of French Detainees Complete". US Department of Defense. 2004-07-27. Archived from the original on 2004-10-31. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred four detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the control of the government of France.These detainees are French nationals.