Muktar Yahya Najee al-Warafi
|Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi|
|Born||1974 (age 43–44)
|Charge(s)||no charges extrajudicial detention|
|Status||Transferred to Oman in 2016|
Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi is a citizen of Yemen, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps in Cuba. The Department of Defense estimate that Al Warafi was born in 1974, in Ta'iz, Yemen.
Official status reviews
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. 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
Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.
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:
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are associated with the Taliban."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... traveled to Afghanistan for jihad."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... fought for the Taliban."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives whose "names or aliases were found on material seized in raids on Al Qaeda safehouses and facilities."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who was a foreign fighter.
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of "36 [captives who] openly admit either membership or significant association with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or some other group the government considers militarily hostile to the United States."
- Muktar Yahya Najee Al Warafi was listed as one of the captives who had admitted "to training at Al Qaeda or Taliban camps".
In 2015 Warafi's lawyers challenged his detention following a statement by President Barack Obama, that US involvement in hostilities in Afghanistan were over. They argued that the detention of individuals in Guantanamo was only valid while hostilities were ongoing. On July 30, 2015, US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that, without regard to the Obama's comment, hostilities were still ongoing in Afghanistan, so Warafi's detention remained legal.
A court cannot look to political speeches alone to determine factual and legal realities merely because doing so would be easier than looking at all the relevant evidence. The government may not always mean what it says or say what it means.
Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment
On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts. His 8-page Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on October 30, 2008. It was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral David M. Thomas Jr.. He recommended continued detention.
Transfer to Oman
Warafi was transferred to Oman with nine other individuals from Yemen: Fahed Abdullah Ahmad Ghazi, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, Waqas Mohammed Ali Awad, Abu Bakr Ibn Ali Muhhammad Alahdal, Abdul al Razzaq Muhammad Salih, Muhhammad Said Bin Salem, Said Muhammed Salih Hatim, Omer Saeed Salem al Daini, Fahmi Abdullah Ahmed. All ten men had been cleared for release in 2009.
- OARDEC. "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 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-05-15. Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
- Charlie Savage (2016-01-14). "Guantánamo Population Drops to 93 after 10 Prisoners Go to Oman". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
Oman, which shares a border with Yemen, also took in 10 lower-level detainees in 2015. Its acceptance of 20 men over the past 13 months has significantly aided the Obama administration's goal of repatriating or resettling all the men who have been recommended for transfer, most of whom have been languishing with that status since at least 2009 when a six-agency task force unanimously approved letting them go.
- Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Muktar Yahya Najee al Warafi". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "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.
- Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.
- Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
- "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institution. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- Marty Lederman (2015-05-27). "Understanding the "end of war" dispute in the al Warafi habeas case". Lawfare. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
As I have previously explained, al Warafi argues that because he is detained as a member of the Taliban's armed forces, and because the United States and the Taliban are no longer in an armed conflict with one another, the government's domestic law authority to detain al Warafi has expired.
- "Federal judge rejects legal challenge from Guantanamo detainee". PBS Newshour. 2015-07-30.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said in a 14-page opinion issued Thursday that it was clear that hostilities still persist.
- "US judge rejects Guantánamo detainee's unlawful imprisonment challenge". The Guardian. 2015-07-30.
A court cannot look to political speeches alone to determine factual and legal realities merely because doing so would be easier than looking at all the relevant evidence," Lamberth wrote. "The government may not always mean what it says or say what it means.
- "Obama's War Continues at Guantanamo". Bloomberg News. 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
It may come as a surprise to Barack Obama that the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces does not necessarily get to decide when a war is over.
- 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.
- "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "Mukhtar Yahya Najee Al Warafi: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Mukhtar Yahya Najee Al Warafi, US9YM-000117DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Who Are the Remaining Prisoners in Guantánamo? Part Two: Captured in Afghanistan (2001) Andy Worthington, September 17, 2010