Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay

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The United States has held a total of 115 Yemeni citizens at Guantanamo Bay, forty-two of who have since been transferred out of the facility.[1] Only Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia had a greater number of their citizens held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[1] By January 2008, the Yemenis in Guantanamo represented the largest group of detainees.[2]

Among the Yemeni detainees currently held (as of November 2015), 44 are recommended for transfer out of the facility, while twenty-three are being held indefinitely and are not recommended for transfer.[3] Only Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul has been convicted by military tribunal, and his conviction has been vacated on appeal.[3] Two Yemeni detainees are awaiting trials by military commissions, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Walid Bin Attash.[3]


A delegation of Yemeni officials visited Guantanamo shortly after it opened in January 2002.[4]

On March 12, 2008 Mark Falkoff of the Center for Constitutional Rights issued a call for the repatriation of the Yemeni detainees, reporting that 95 Yemenis remained in detention, and they now constituted more than a third of the total detainee population.[5] Falkoff wrote that the delay in his release is due to a failure of the USA and Yemeni governments to reach an agreement on the security arrangements for the detainees, following their repatriation. By contrast, almost all the 133 Saudi detainees in Guantanamo had been sent home in 2006 and 2007.

Impact of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempted suicide bombing[edit]

On December 25, 2009, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to set off a suicide bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253. By December 27, 2009, responding to rumors that Abdulmutallab had confessed to being trained and equipped in Yemen, various American politicians, including Joe Lieberman, Pete Hoekstra, Peter T. King and Bennie Thompson, called for American President Barack Obama to halt plans to repatriate the Yemenis.[6][7][8][9][10]

Repatriation negotiations[edit]

An article published in the Yemen Post on November 13, 2012, reported on secret terms in the US-Yemeni repatriation negotiations.[11]

Yemen recently had a change in administration.[when?] Officials of the new administration said, "Saleh demanded $200 million in return for receiving the Yemeni detainees, but the US offered him only $20 million. The two sides could not reach an agreement to release the detainees by then."'

Repatriated detainees[edit]

Several returned Yemeni detainees were charged and stood trial, following their repatriation.[12] Yemen established a special Criminal Court for Terrorism where their trials took place.[13][14][15][16]

On June 7, 2008 the Yemeni site Al Sahwa Net reported that negotiations were advanced for the repatration of approximately seventy Yemeni detainees.[17]

On June 7, 2008 Yemen Online reported that several Yemeni detainees had recently been allowed to their first phone calls to their families.[18] The article also reported that "informed sources" said Stephan Seche, the American ambassador had returned to the USA to brief the Bush Presidency on Yemen's rehabilitation program for repatriated detainees.

List of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo[edit]

isn name arrival
00026 Fahed Abdullah Ahmad Ghazi
00027 Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman 2002-12-11 received habeas corpus
00028 Muaz Hamza Ahmad Al Alawi 2002-01-17
00029 Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Al Ansi 2002-01-16
00030 Ahmed Umar Abdullah al Hikimi 2002-01-16
00031 Mahmoud Abd Al Aziz Abd Al Mujahid 2002-01-12
00032 Faruq Ali Ahmed 2002-01-11 2009-12-19
00033 Mohammed Ahmad Said Al Edah 2002-01-17
00034 Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammed Al Yafi 2002-01-17 2015-01-14 Transferred to Oman[19][20]
00035 Idris Ahmed Abdu Qader Idris 2002-06-08 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00036 Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris 2002-01-11 2013-12-18
00037 Abd al Malik Abd al Wahab 2002-01-11
00039 Ali Hamza Ahmed Suleiman Al Bahlul 2002-01-11
00040 Abdel Qadir Hussein Al Mudhaffari 2002-01-14
00041 Majid Mahmud Abdu Ahmad 2002-01-17
00043 Samir Naji Al Hasan Moqbel 2002-01-11
00044 Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim 2002-01-11
00045 Ali Ahmad Muhammad Al Rahizi 2002-01-11 2015-11-16 transferred to the United Arab Emirates.[22]
00069 Sadeq Muhammad Sa'id Ismail 2007-06-18
00078 Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh Al Hanashi 2002-02-08 2009-06-01 Died in custody
00088 Waqas Mohammed Ali Awad 2002-01-20
00091 Abdul Al Saleh 2002-02-09
00115 Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser 2002-06-12
00117 Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi 2002-05-01
00128 Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani 2002-01-17
00129 Toufiq Saber Muhammad Al Marwa'i 2002-06-12 2006-12-15
00131 Salem Ahmed Hadi 2002-01-20
00149 Salim Ahmed Hamdan 2002-05-01 2008-11-25
00152 Asim Thahit Abdullah Al Khalaqi 2002-01-17 2014-12-30
00153 Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman 2002-01-17
00156 Allal Ab Aljallil Abd Al Rahman Abd 2002-01-17 2012-09-10
00162 Ali Husayn Abdullah Al Tays 2002-02-09 2006-12-15
00163 Khalid Abd Jal Jabbar Muhammad Juthman Al Qadasi 2002-02-09 2015-11-16 transferred to the United Arab Emirates.[22]
00165 Adil Said Al Haj Obeid Al Busayss 2002-01-17 2015-11-16 transferred to the United Arab Emirates.[22]
00167 Ali Yahya Mahdi Al Raimi 2002-05-01
00170 Sharaf Ahmad Muhammad Masud 2002-06-08 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00171 Abu Bakr Ibn Ali Muhhammad Alahdal 2002-01-14
00172 Ali Muhammed Nasir 2002-01-14 2007-09-28
00178 Tarek Ali Abdullah Ahmed Baada 2002-02-09
00183 Issam Hamid Al Bin Ali Al Jayfi 2002-01-17 2006-12-15
00193 Muhsin Muhammad Musheen Moqbill 2002-05-03 2006-12-15
00198 Mohammed Ahmed Ali Al Asadi 2002-05-01 2006-12-15
00202 Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef 2002-02-07
00204 Said Ibrahim Ramzi Al Zahrani 2002-01-20 2007-07-15
00205 Nasser Najiri Amtiri 2002-02-07 2005-01-16
00221 Ali Mohsen Salih 2002-02-11 2007-06-18
00223 Abdul Rahman Abdul Abu Ghiyth Sulayman 2002-02-11
00224 Abd Al Rahman Abdullah Ali Muhammad 2002-02-09 2015-01-14 Transferred to Oman[19][20]
00225 Hani Abdul Muslih Al Shulan 2002-02-09 2007-06-18
00233 Abdul Al Razzaq Muhammad Salih 2002-02-11
00235 Saeed Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah Sarem Jarabh 2002-02-11
00242 Khaled Qasim 2002-05-01
00249 Mohammed Abdullah Al Hamiri
00251 Muhhammad Said Bin Salem 2002-02-07
00252 Yasim Muhammed Basardah 2002-02-12 2010-05-04
00254 Muhammad Ali Hussein Khenaina 2002-06-08 2014-12-30
00255 Said Muhammed Salih Hatim 2002-06-12
00256 Atag Ali Abdoh Al-Haj 2002-06-12 2009-12-19
00259 Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif 2002-02-09 2015-01-14 Transferred to Oman[19][20]
00321 Ahmed Yaslam Said Kuman 2002-05-03
00324 Mashur Abdallah Muqbil Ahmed Al Sabri 2002-05-01
00434 Mustafa Abdul Qawi Abdul Aziz Al Shamyri 2002-06-12
00440 Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir 2002-05-01
00441 Abdul al-Rahman al-Ziahri 2002-02-09
00461 Abdul Rahman Umir Al Qyati 2002-05-03
00498 Mohammed Ahmed Said Haidel 2002-05-03
00503 Saleh Mohamed Al Zuba 2002-06-08 2006-12-15
00506 Khalid Mohammed Salih Al Dhuby 2002-05-05 2014-11-20
00508 Salman Yahya Hassan Mohammed Rabeii 2002-05-01
00509 Mohammed Nasir Yahya Khusruf 2002-05-03
00511 Sulaiman Awath Sulaiman Bin Ageel Al Nahdi 2002-05-05 2015-11-16 transferred to the United Arab Emirates.[22]
00522 Yasin Qasem Muhammad Ismail 2002-05-01
00549 Omar Said Salim Al Dayi 2002-02-15
00553 Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani 2002-05-01 2014-11-20
00554 Fahmi Salem Said Al Sani 2002-02-15 2015-11-16 transferred to the United Arab Emirates.[22]
00564 Jalal Salam Bin Amer 2002-06-14 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00569 Zuhail Abdo Anam Said Al Sharabi 2002-05-05
00570 Sabri Mohammed Ebrahim Al Qurashi 2002-05-05 2014-12-30
00574 Hamoud Abdullah Hamoud Hassan Al Wady 2002-06-08 2013-12-16
00575 Saad Masir Mukbl Al Azani 2002-06-18 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00576 Zahar Omar Hamis Bin Hamdoun 2002-05-05
00577 Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mar'i 2002-05-01 2009-12-19
00578 Abdul Aziz Abdullah Ali Al Suadi 2002-05-03
00586 Karam Khamis Sayd Khamsan 2002-05-01 2005-08-19
00627 Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi 2002-05-01 2009-12-19
00678 Fawaz Naman Hamoud Abdallah Mahdi 2002-06-18 2007-06-18
00679 Mohmmad Ahmad Ali Tahar 2002-06-14 2009-12-19
00680 Emad Abdalla Hassan 2002-06-18 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00681 Mohammed Mohammed Hassen 2002-06-18 2010-07-13 received habeas corpus
00683 Fayad Yahya Ahmed 2002-06-18 2009-12-19
00686 Abdel Ghalib Ahmad Hakim 2002-06-18 2014-11-20
00688 Fahmi Abdullah Ahmed 2002-06-18
00689 Mohammed Ahmed Salam 2002-06-18 2015-01-14 Transferred to Oman[19][20]
00690 Ahmed Abdul Qader 2002-06-18 2015-01-14 Transferred to Estonia[19][20]
00691 Mohammed Ali Salem Al Zarnuki 2002-06-18 2015-06-13 Transferred to Oman[21]
00692 Ali Bin Ali Aleh 2002-06-18 2009-09-26
00693 Ali Abdullah Ahmed 2002-06-18 2006-06-10 Died in custody
00728 Jamil Ahmed Said Nassir 2002-08-05
00836 Ayoub Murshid Ali Saleh 2002-10-28
00837 Bashir Nashir Al-Marwalah 2002-10-28
00838 Shawki Awad Balzuhair 2002-10-28
00839 Musab Omar Ali Al Mudwani 2002-10-28
00840 Ha Il Aziz Ahmed Al Maythali 2002-10-28
00841 Sa id Salih Sa id Nashir 2002-10-28
01014 Walid Mohammed Shahir 2003-05-09 2004-03-31
01015 Hussein Salem Mohammed 2003-05-09 2014-11-20
01017 Omar Mohammed Ali Al Rammah 2003-05-09
01453 Sanad Ali Yislam Al-Kazimi 2004-09-20
01456 Hassan Mohammed Ali Bin Attash 2004-09-20
01457 Al Hajj Abdu Ali Sharqawi 2004-09-20
01463 Abdul Al Salam Al Hilal 2004-09-20
10013 Ramzi bin al-Shibh 2006-09-05
10014 Walid bin 'Attash 2006-09-05

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Citizens of Yemen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  2. ^ Michael Melia (January 11, 2008). "Yemenis now biggest group at Guantanamo". San Jose Mercury. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b c "Citizens of Yemen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Yemen to Inspect Condition of 21 Yemeni Detainees at Guantanamo". Yemen Times. 3 February 2002. Retrieved 2008-05-05. [dead link]
  5. ^ Mark Falkoff (March 12, 2008). "Guantánamo Attorneys Say Detainees Will Not Be Tortured If Returned to Yemen". Center for Constitutional Rights. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  6. ^ "Following Path of Least Resistance, Terrorists Turn Yemen Into Poor Man's Afghanistan". Fox News. 2009-12-27. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. 'They should stay there. They should not go back to Yemen,' Hoekstra said. 'If they go back to Yemen, we will very soon find them back on the battlefield going after Americans and other western interests.' 
  7. ^ Sudeep Reddy (2009-12-27). "Lawmakers Focus on Yemen in Wake of Attempted Bombing". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. The 23-year-old suspect in the botched attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab of Nigeria, allegedly told U.S. officials that he received his explosive device in Yemen and learned to use it there. 
  8. ^ "Lieberman: The United States Must Pre-Emptively Act In Yemen". Huffington Post. 2009-12-27. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. In his appearance on 'Fox News Sunday', Lieberman also argued that the botched attack should compel the Obama administration to abandon efforts to transfer suspected-terrorists out of the holding facility at Guantanamo Bay, saying that the complex is now well above international standards. 
  9. ^ "Gitmo transfer to Yemen in doubt". United Press International. 2009-12-27. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. 'I'd, at a minimum, say that whatever we were about to do we'd at least have to scrub (those plans) again from top to bottom,' said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. 
  10. ^ Josh Gerstein (2009-12-27). "Bomb plot complicates Gitmo plan". Politico. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. 'Yesterday just highlights the fact that sending this many people back—or any people back—to Yemen right now is a really bad idea,' said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. 'It's just dumb….If you made a list of what the three dumbest countries would be to send people back to, Yemen would be on all the lists.' 
  11. ^ "Yemen refuses extraditing Guantanamo detainees to third state". Yemen Post. 2012-11-13. Archived from the original on 2012-11-13. "Saleh demanded $200 million in return for receiving the Yemeni detainees, but the US offered him only $20 million. The two sides could not reach an agreement to release the detainees by then," the US officials told Hadi. 
  12. ^ "Yemen to try fighters coming from Iraq, ex-Guantanamo prisoners". Kuwait News Agency. January 26, 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-09. [dead link]
  13. ^ Mohammed Al-Qadhi (June 21, 2004). "Advocates quit again: Court bans publishing hearings of 15 al-Qaeda suspects' tribunal, military trial proceedings claimed". Yemen Times. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  14. ^ "Gitmo stalemate for Yemeni detainees: Home country refuses to lock them up; detention center enters 7th year". MSNBC. January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  15. ^ Kathy Gannon (July 4, 2007). "Yemen Employs New Terror Approach". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-05. There are more men from Yemen held at Guantanamo Bay than from any other country. 
  16. ^ Andrew Mc Gregor (May 10, 2007). "Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism" 5 (9). Global Terrorism Analysis. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  17. ^ "U.S. intends to hand over 70 Yemeni Guantanamo detainees". Al Sahwa Net. June 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  18. ^ "Yemen plans rehabilitation program for Guantanamo returnees". Yemen Online. June 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "Five Guantanamo Yemeni inmates sent to Oman and Estonia". BBC News. 2015-01-14. Archived from the original on 2015-01-15. The five men - in their 30s and 40s - were cleared for release since at least 2009, but US officials ruled out their return to Yemen, where the government is battling al-Qaeda rebels. 
  20. ^ a b c d e Margot Williams. "Guantanamo timeline 2015". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2015-01-15. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f "IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Release No: NR-235-15, June 13, 2015, Detainee Transfer Announced". United States Department of Defense. 2015-06-13. Archived from the original on 2015-06-13. The United States is grateful to the Government of Oman for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Oman to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures. 
  22. ^ a b c d e Carol Rosenberg (2015-11-16). "U.S. sends 5 Guantánamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates". Miami Herald. With Congress pushing stricter restrictions on prisoner transfers, the Pentagon this weekend released five Yemenis from the prison camps at Guantánamo to resettle in the United Arab Emirates, an Arabian Gulf [sic] nation. None of the captives had ever been charged with a crime. 

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