Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Bakr Mahjour Umar

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Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Bakr Mahjour Umar
ISN 00695, Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjoub.jpg
Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjoub's official Guantanamo identity portrait, showing him wearing a white uniform, indicating he was classified as "compliant" captive.
Released 2016-04-04
Senegal
Citizenship Libya
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 695
Charge(s) No charge, held in extrajudicial detention
Status released to Senegal

Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr is a citizen of Libya who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba, from August 5, 2002 until April 4, 2016.[1][2] Abu Bakr's Guantanamo detainee ID number is 695. American intelligence analysts estimate that Abu Bakr was born in 1972 in Al Bayda [sic], Libya.

The Miami Herald has called him a "forever prisoner", one the Guantanamo Review Task Force considered too dangerous to release or transfer from Guantanamo, but for whom evidence sufficient to lay criminal charges did not exist.[3] Quoting his lawyer Ramzi Kassem, they report he is blind in one eye, has shrapnel in his left arm and what remains of his left leg, following a land mine explosion, while his other leg was "shattered" in a construction accident.

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.[4] 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.[5][6]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[4][7]

[8]

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:[9]

  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are associated with Al Qaeda."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges that the following detainees stayed in Al Qaeda, Taliban or other guest- or safehouses."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... fought for the Taliban."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... were at Tora Bora."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges that the following detainees were captured under circumstances that strongly suggest belligerency."[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was listed as one of the captives who was a member of the "al Qaeda leadership cadre".[9]
  • Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr 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."[9]

Abu Bakr did not attend his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, but asked his Personal Representative to tell the Tribunal that he "would rather be in the worst American jail than be a minister in my country. I want to stay here."'[10]

[11] The four page memo included forty "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and six "primary factor favor[ing] release or transfer".

  • A repeated theme in the allegations was that Abu Bakr had attended training at multiple Afghan training camps, and that he had served as an instructor at Afghan training camps.
  • He was also alleged to have been employed by one of Osama bin Laden's construction companies in Sudan.
  • He was also alleged to have worn a Casio F-91W digital watch.

Second annual Administrative Review Board[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for annual Administrative Review Board on Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjoub's second annual Administrative Review Board on 11 October 2006.[12] The four page memo included twenty-four "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and two "primary factor favor[ing] release or transfer".

  • The 2006 memo offers two versions of when his leg was injured in Sudan in the early 1990s, and in Afghanistan in 1999.
  • He was alleged to have met Abu Musab Al Zarqawi twice in 2000.
  • The 2006 memo said he and the other Arab men he lived with in Pakistan had all been living together because they were seeking political asylum in Europe.

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.[13][14] His detainee assessment written on August 22, 2008, was sixteen pages long.[15] It was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral David M. Thomas Jr., who recommended continued detention in Guantanamo

2015 Periodic Review Board hearing[edit]

His Periodic Review Board was convened on June 23, 2015.[3] According to the Miami Herald the officials reviewing Baker's status were told he had ties to al Qaeda from the time the organization was based in Sudan, during the early 1990s. They were told he had "probably" fought against the Northern Alliance.

An officer assigned to assist him told the officials he was “peaceful, compliant, and also has quite a sense of humor.”[3][16] The Miami Herald noted that he voluntarily agreed to meet with the officials during the period of Ramadan, pointing out that it was a time which “many Muslims devote to daytime fasting and prayer.”

The Miami Herald also quoted Ramzi Kaseem, Baker's civilian lawyer, who pointed out that his wounds made his detention a particular hardship.[3]

Transfer to the USA[edit]

On August 31, 2009 Corrections One, a trade journal for the prison industry, speculated that "Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr" was one of ten captives they speculated might be moved to a maximum security prison in Standish, Michigan.[17]

Transfer to Senegal[edit]

On April 4, 2016, Abu Bakr, and another Libyan Salem Abdul Salem Ghereby, were transferred to Senegal.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ a b Charlie Savage (2016-04-04). "2 Libyan Guantánamo Inmates Are Transferred to Senegal". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-04-04. The United States military has transferred two Libyan detainees to Senegal from its wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, government officials said on Monday, the first time Senegal has resettled a Guantánamo prisoner. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Review board weighs release of injured 'forever prisoner'". Miami Herald. 2015-06-23. Archived from the original on 2015-06-24. Kassem also reportedly said prison is extremely difficult for the man because of his wounds. He lost part of a leg from a land mine explosion in Afghanistan in 1998 and his other leg was shattered in a construction site accident. He has shrapnel in his left arm and left leg, and he is blind in his left eye. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  6. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ OARDEC (2004-10-12). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Abu Bakr, Omar Khalifa Mohammed (aka Mahjoub, Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 62–63. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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
  10. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - page 16
  11. ^ OARDEC (2005-10-26). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Abu Bakr, Omar Khalifa Mohammed (2005)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 12–15. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  12. ^ OARDEC (2006-10-11). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Mahjoub, Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker (2006)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 54–57. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  15. ^ D.M. Thomas Jr. (2011-04-27). "x" (PDF). The Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 2015-06-24. 
  16. ^ "PERIODIC REVIEW BOARD (PRB), 23 JUN 2015 OMAR KHALIF MOHAMMED ABU BAKER MAHJOUR UMAR, ISN 695 PR OPENING STATEMENT" (PDF). Periodic Review Board. 2015-06-22. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-06-24. From the outset, it is worth emphasizing that, in the course of Mr. Khalifs habeas corpus case, a U.S. federal judge found-and the U.S. government itself conceded-that there was no evidence that Mr. Khalif ever "lifted a hand" against the United States or its allies or that he helped plan any attacks against the United States or its allies. See Khalifh v. Obama, WL 2382925, at *5 (D.D.C. May 28, 2010). The Court held that "the government concedes that there is absolutely no evidence ... no evidence that Khalifh personally lifted a hand against the U.S." 
  17. ^ Kathryn Lynch-Morin (2009-08-31). "Profile of 10 U.S.-bound Gitmo detainees". Corrections One. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-08-02.