Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim

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Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim
ISN 00044, Mohamed Abu Ghanim.jpg
Citizenship Yemen
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 44
Charge(s) no charge, held in extrajudicial detention

Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba, for almost fifteen years.[1] His Guantanamo Internee Security Number is 44. He was eventually transferred to Saudi Arabia

Background[edit]

Mohammed is alleged to have volunteered to fight in Bosnia's war of liberation, and the Yemeni Civil War, prior to heading to Afghanistan to volunteer to serve as a fighter for the Taliban.[2] He is alleged to have been an Osama bin Laden bodyguard, to know about a secret bigger than al Qaida's attacks on September 11, 2001, although he told interrogators he had only served with the Taliban, and had never met Osama bin Laden.

Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, has been tracking Guantanamo's first twenty captives, who arrived at Guantanamo on January 11, 2002.[3][4][5][6] She eventually identified Ghanim as one of the first twenty individuals.

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.[7] 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.[8][9]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[7][10]

Scholars at the Brookings Institution, lead by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[11]

[12]

  • That he traveled to Afghanistan prior to al Qaeda's attacks on September 11, 2001, to engage in jihad;
  • That he had fought in Yemen, Bosnia and Afghanistan;
  • That he was associated with al Wafa;
  • That he had claimed to have knowledge of future plans to attack the USA.
  • That he was associated with the Pakistan-based missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat.

First annual Administrative Review Board hearing[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim's first annual Administrative Review Board in 2005.[2] The six page memo listed fifty "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and four "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".

Thirteen of those factors justified his continued detention based on allegations he had volunteered to fight during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia that lead to the independence of Bosnia. He was alleged to have received a month of military training at a training camp for foreign volunteers in Mehrez, Bosnia, in 1994.

He was alleged to have fought in the Yemeni Civil War after leaving Bosnia following the signing of the Dayton Accords. He was alleged to have investigated traveling to volunteer as a fighter in Chechnya.

He was alleged to have traveled to volunteer as a fighter in Afghanistan in 2000. He was alleged to have been an Osama bin Laden bodyguard. However, he claimed he only fought with the Taliban, only served in Taliban units.

He was alleged to have told interrogators he knew something about a "serum" that, once injected, would dissolve bodies.

He was alleged to be related to someone who played a role in the USS Cole bombing.

The factors state that when he fled the American aerial bombardment of Afghanistan he was captured with about 30 other at the Pakistani border who were all sent to Guantanamo.

He was alleged to have an association with a charity called al Wafa that American intelligence officials assert has ties to terrorism. The factors stated he had recanted his confessions of an association with al Wafa, claiming: "It was a story he had made up because he was being beaten."

He was alleged to have told interrogators that he knew a very shocking secret, bigger than the attacks on September 11, 2001, which he was withholding from them.

"If I were free, no one would be able to stop me from doing what I want to do, not even your intelligence people. If you cooperate with me, I will write down everything I know. As you have already noticed from your intelligence people, you couldn't stop what has already happened. The information I have already given is no longer important. All I need is to be left alone at my home to be able to do what I want to do. My information is so important and so dangerous, your intelligence and your FBI would never even imagine it, but I know".

The factors also recorded that the claimed this report of a big secret was due to translation errors, and he knew no big secrets.

Second annual Administrative Review Board hearing[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Mohammed R Abu Ghanim's second annual Administrative Review Board in 2006.[13] The four page memo listed thirty-five "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and eight "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".

Third annual Administrative Review Board hearing[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for his third annual Administrative Review Board in 2007.[14] The five page memo listed thirty-three "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and nine "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".

Board recommendations[edit]

One January 9, 2009, the Department of Defense published two heavily redacted memos, from his Board, to Gordon England, the Designated Civilian Official.[15][16] The Board's recommendation was unanimous The Board's recommendation was redacted. England authorized his continued detention on March 17, 2008.

The Board considered reports from seven different agencies.

Transfer to Saudi Arabia[edit]

Ghanim and three other men, were transferred to Saudi Arabia, on January 5, 2017.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ list of prisoners, US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  2. ^ a b OARDEC (2005-10-25). 60-65 "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Abu Ghanim, Mohammed Rajab Sadiq" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 60–65. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  3. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2008-01-19). "Photos echo years later". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2016-01-10. Six years ago today, McCoy took those now-iconic images of the first detainees to land at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba -- capturing a moment of men on their knees in orange jumpsuits behind barbed wire fences. 
  4. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2014-01-12). "11 of first 20 captives taken to Guantánamo still there". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2016-01-10. Twelve years ago, U.S. troops shuffled 20 men in chains and orange jumpsuits off a cargo plane at Guantánamo — dubbed “the worst of the worst” of America’s captives in the nascent war on terror — to launch an experiment in interrogation and detention unbounded by geography or the U.S. courts. 
  5. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2015-01-10). "First flight: 8 of first 20 ‘worst of worst’ still at Guantánamo". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-08-04. Retrieved 2016-01-10. Thirteen years ago today, a U.S. Air Force C-131 Starlifter cargo plane set down at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, dislodged 20 men in orange jumpsuits brought from Afghanistan and started the Pentagon’s experiment in offshore detention. 
  6. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2016-01-10). "6 of first 20 ‘worst of worst’ still at Guantánamo". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2016-01-10. Fourteen years ago, a Navy photographer hoisted a camera over razor wire and made an iconic image of America’s experiment in law-of-war detention: 20 men in orange jumpsuits in shackles on their knees in their first hours at Guantánamo. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Neil A. Lewis (2004-11-11). "Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court". Guantanamo Bay detention camp: New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  9. ^ Mark Huband (2004-12-11). "Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals"". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  10. ^ "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
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study" (PDF). The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-16.  mirror
  12. ^ OARDEC, CSRT Summary of Evidence memo for Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim, United States Department of Defense -- pages 52-53 -- October 21, 2004
  13. ^ OARDEC (2006-11-03). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Abu Ghanim, Mohammed R" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 82–85. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  14. ^ OARDEC. "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 11–15. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  15. ^ OARDEC (2008-02-24). "Administrative Review Board assessment and recommendation ICO ISN 044" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. page 216. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  16. ^ OARDEC (2008-01-15). 217-227 "Classified Record of Proceedings and basis of Administrative Review Board recommendation for ISN 044" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages . Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  17. ^ "4 Released Guantanamo Detainees Arrive in Saudi Arabia". Voice of America. 2017-01-05. Archived from the original on 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-04-13. The Saudi interior ministry said King Salman has decided the four men will live in the kingdom and take part in “a rehabilitation and de-radicalization program.” No specific charges were ever brought against them during their time at Guantanamo. 
  18. ^ Charlie Savage (2017-01-05). "4 Yemeni Detainees at Guantánamo Are Transferred to Saudi Arabia". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-04-13. All four men sent to Saudi Arabia will continue to be held for a period in a custodial rehabilitation program for lower-level Islamist extremists. 
  19. ^ "Four Yemenis freed from Guantánamo Bay and transferred to Saudi Arabia". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2017-03-22. Retrieved 2017-04-13. On Tuesday, US President-elect Donald Trump tweeted: “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.” 
  20. ^ Russ Read (2017-01-05). "Obama Releases Four Guantanamo Detainees To Saudi Arabia". Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 2017-04-07. Retrieved 2017-04-13. Ghanim, also a Yemeni citizen, was once a personal bodyguard to Osama bin Laden. He associated with the terrorists responsible for the USS Cole bombing in 1999 and a suspected 9/11 hijacker and may have ties to the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Ghanim has a long criminal history, which includes sabotage, theft and weapons smuggling. He also is suspected of fighting with bin Laden’s 55th Arab Brigade. 
  21. ^ "Controversy as Obama releases Guantanamo prisoners". Naij. 2017-01-05. Archived from the original on 2017-01-07. Retrieved 2017-04-13. President Barack Obama’s action is against the express wish of President-elect Donald Trump. 
  22. ^ "Four down, 55 to go". Vice News. 2017-01-05. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-04-13. The low-level detainees released Thursday — Salem Ahmad Hadi Bin Kanad, Muhammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim, Muhammad Ali Abdallah Muhammad Bwazir, and Abdallah Yahya Yusif Al-Shibli — were all captured in Afghanistan after 9/11. They were suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda and the terrorist group’s deceased leader, Osama bin Laden.