Saudi detainees at Guantanamo Bay

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A total of 133 Saudi citizens have been held in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps at its naval base in Cuba since January 2002. Most had been swept up in Afghanistan following the US invasion in the fall of 2001, and they were classified by the US government as enemy combatants.

In addition, a United States citizen, Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was born in Louisiana but moved as a child with his parents to Saudi Arabia, where he also had citizenship, was initially held there. As an American citizen, he was transferred to a military prison brig on the mainland of the United States. His challenge to his detention, without being informed of charges or brought to trial, was a case that reached the United States Supreme Court. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), the Supreme Court ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority. After this decision, the government made a deal with Hamdi. After he agreed to renounce his US citizenship and observe travel restrictions, in October 2004 Hamdi was deported to Saudi Arabia. He has returned to his family.

Following the deaths of two Saudi citizens in custody on June 10, 2006 and another on May 30, 2007, which the Department of Defense claimed were due to suicides, the Saudi government put pressure on the United States to release its citizens. Nearly 100 were returned to Saudi Arabia from June 2006 through 2007.

As of today, eleven Saudi citizens are still held at the detention camp.[1]

History[edit]

In January 2002, the United States completed the first phase of construction of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp at its naval base in Cuba. It was designed to hold enemy combatants captured in its war on terror - most taken during action in Afghanistan beginning in the fall of 2001. In total, the US has held 133 Saudi Arabian citizens at Guantanamo. The United States has held a total of 778 detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps at its naval base in Cuba since the camps opened on January 11, 2002. The camp population peaked in 2004 at approximately 660. As of March 2014, 154 detainees remain at Guantanamo.[2]

Three Saudis: Yasser Talal Al Zahrani, Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi and Abdul Rahman al-Amri, died at Guantanamo in 2006 and 2007 during their detention.[1] All were announced by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) as suicides.

The first two were among three men who died on June 10, 2006; the circumstances of their deaths have been strongly questioned by numerous sources, including the Saudi government and the men's families. Journalists and the Center for Policy and Research in its 2009 report have noted glaring inconsistencies in the NCIS report of 2008. Based on an account by four former guards at Guantanamo, Scott Horton suggested in 2010 that the men died as a result of torture and government agencies tried to cover this up.[3]

Al-Amri died on May 30, 2007 as an apparent suicide, according to DOD.[4]

As a result of these deaths, the Saudi government strongly pressured the United States to repatriate its citizens. It developed a reintegration program for former detainees and has worked with them on religious re-education, and reintegrating them into society by arranging for marriages and jobs. From June 2006 and December 2007, a total of 93 Saudi citizens were returned to the country.[5] As of today, eleven Saudi citizens are still held at the detention camp.[1]

Saudi citizens held in Guantanamo[edit]

release
date
isn name notes
2007-12-29 5 Abdul Aziz Al Matrafi
2007-07-16 13 Fahed Nasser Mohamed
  • Reports being tortured in custody.[6]
  • Reports being sold for a bounty.[6]
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7][8]
2007-02-20 25 Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi
  • Defense Department’s April 7, 2009 analysis of Guantanamo recidivists lists Joudi as a “confirmed” recidivist.[9]
Held 42 Abdul Rahman Shalabi
  • On hunger strike for more than five years. Reportedly suffering health problems caused by the hunger strike. Shalabi has been force fed for many years by means of strapping him forcefully into a restraint chair and pumping liquid nutrients through his nose into his stomach. Shalabi said after enduring this procedure for over four years, it causes him extreme pain and he feels as if he is treated like an animal.[10][11][11][12][13]
Held 49 Assem Matruq Mohammad Al Aasmi
2007-09-05 51 Majid Al Barayan
2007-07-15 53 Saud Dakhil Allah Muslih Al Mahayawi
2006-12-13 55 Muhammed Yahia Mosin Al Zayla
2006-06-24 58 Musa Abed Al Wahab
2007-11-09 59 Sultan Ahmed Dirdeer Musa Al Uwaydha
2007-07-15 62 Muhamad Naji Subhi Al Juhani
  • Described as having "no ties to militancy whatsoever".[8]
Held 63 Mohammed al-Qahtani
  • Tortured in Guantanamo.[14]
2006-05-18 64 Abdel Hadi Mohammed Badan Al Sebaii Sebaii
2007-07-15 66 Yahya Samil Al Suwaymil Al Sulami
  • Described as having "no ties to militancy whatsoever".[8]
2007-11-09 68 Khalid Saud Abd Al Rahman Al Bawardi
2003-05-14 71 Mish’al Muhammad Rashid Al-Shedocky
  • Released prior to the institution of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals in July 2004.
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[16]
2006-06-24 73 Yusif Khalil Abdallah Nur
2007-12-28 74 Mesh Arsad Al Rashid
  • Repatriated on December 2, 2007, with nine other men.[17]
2007-09-05 79 Fahed Al Harazi
2003-05-14 80 Fahd Abdallah Ibrahim Al-Shabani
Died in custody 93 Yasser Talal Al Zahrani
  • US government withheld body parts needed for independent post mortem.[18][19]
2006-05-18 94 Ibrahim Daif Allah Neman Al Sehli
  • Released May 19, 2006.[20]
2006-05-18 95 Abdul Rahman Ahmed Uthman
2006-06-24 96 Muhammad Surur Dakhilallah Al Utaybi
2006-05-18 105 Adnan Muhammed Ali Al Saigh
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[21]
  • Turned himself in to Saudi authorities July 2012[22]
  • author of "The Fight over the Mountains" for Inspire magazine, Summer 2010 issue.[23]
2006-12-13 109 Yusef Abdullah Saleh Al Rabiesh
2007-09-05 112 Abdul Aziz Saad Al Khaldi
2007-11-09 114 Yussef Mohammed Mubarak Al Shihri
  • 14 years old when captured.
  • Killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces along the Saudi border with Yemen in October 2009.[24]
  • When killed, Yousef al Shihri was dressed as a woman[24]
  • Shihri's female garments concealed a suicide explosives belt[24]
2006-12-13 121 Salman Saad Al Khadi Mohammed
  • Released with thirteen other men on November 12, 2007.[25]
2007-07-15 122 Bijad Thif Allah Al Atabi
2003-05-14 125 Fawaz Abd Al Aziz Al Zahrani
  • Repatriated on May 15, 2003, and then convicted of leaving Saudi Arabia without getting prior permission.[26][27]
2007-09-05 126 Salam Abdullah Said
2003-05-14 127 Ibrahim Rushdan Brayk Al Shili
2007-11-09 130 Faha Sultan
2006-06-24 132 Abdul Salam Gaithan Mureef Al Shehry
  • 17 years old when captured.[28]
2007-07-15 154 Mazin Salih Musaid Al Awfi
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7][8]
2005-07-19 155 Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Hubayshi
2006/05/19 157 Saed Khatem Al Malki
  • Repatriated May 19, 2006.[20]
2007-02-20 158

Majid Abdallah Husayn Muhammad Al Samluli Al Harbi

2007-09-28 172 Ali Muhammed Nasir Mohammed
2007-02-20 176 Majid Aydha Muhammad Al Qurayshi
2006-05-18 177 Fahd Salih Sulayman Al Jutayli
  • Was a minor when captured.[citation needed]
  • Reportedly killed in a shootout between the Yemeni Army and Houthi rebels in 2009[29]
2007-07-15 179 Abdul Rahman Owaid Mohammad Al Juaid
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7]
  • Described as having "no ties to militancy whatsoever".[8]
2005-11-04 181 Maji Afas Radhi Al Shimri
2007-07-15 182 Bandar Ahmad Mubarak Al Jabri
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7][8]
2006-06-24 184 Othman Ahmed Othman Al Omairah
  • Following his transfer, reportedly became an operational commander for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula[30]
2007-11-09 185 Turki Mash Awi Zayid Al Asiri
  • Allegedly fled from the American aerial bombardment of Afghanistan.
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[31]
2007-02-20 186 Rashed Awad Khalaf Balkhair
2007-11-09 187 Murtadha Al Said Makram
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[32]
2006-12-13 188 Jabir Jubran Al Fayfi
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[16]
2006-06-24 191 Saleh Ali Jaid Al Khathami
2006-12-13 192 Ibrahimj Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh
  • Repatriated on December 14, 2006.[26][33]
  • Following Repatriation, reportedly became al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's chief theologian and ideologue, responsible for justifying terrorism on religious grounds[34]
Held 195 Mohammad Al Rahman Al Shumrani
2007-09-05 196 Musa Ali Said Al Said Al Amari
Died in custody 199 Abdul Rahman Ma Ath Thafir Al Amri
Held 200 Said Muhammad Husayn Qahtani
2007-07-15 204 Said Ibrahim Ramzi Al Zahrani
2006-12-13 206 Abdullah Muahammed Abdel Aziz
2005-07-19 207 Mishal Awad Sayaf Alhabiri
2007-07-15 214 Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Al Kurash
2007-11-09 215 Fahd Umr Abd Al Majid Al Sharif
2007-12-28 216 Jamil Ali Al Kabi
2007-09-05 218 Fahd Muhammed Abdullah Al Fouzan
2006-12-13 226 Anwar Al Nurr
2007-07-15 230 Humud Dakhil Humud Sa'id Al-Jad'an
  • Claims he was sold for a bounty.[citation needed]
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7][8]
  • Listed in the DoD’s April 2009 recidivism analysis as a “suspected” recidivist.[35]
2007-09-05 231 Abdulhadi Abdallah Ibrahim al Sharakh
  • There is no record this captive participated in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.
  • Included in the DoD’s April 2009 analysis as a “suspected” recidivist due to his September 2008 arrest “for association with terrorist members” and “supporting terrorism.”[36]
2007-07-15 234 Khalid Mohammed Al Zaharni
Held 239 Shaker Aamer
  • Alleges abuse.[37]
  • Mental health at risk.
Held 240 Abdullah Yahia Yousf Al Shabli
2007-12-28 243 Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi
2006-12-13 245 Al Silm Haji Hajjaj Awwad Al Hajjaji
2005-07-19 248 Saleh Abdall Al Oshan
2007-11-09 258 Nayif Abdallah Ibrahim Ibrahim
2007-07-15 261 Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari
  • Allegedly delivered a fiery speech in Buffalo NY that was attended by members of the Lackawanna Six.[38]
  • Says he has been tortured, and has made over a dozen suicide attempts.[citation needed]
  • Joint citizen of both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
2007-11-09 262 Abdullah Abd Al Mu'in Al Wafti
2006-06-24 264 Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz Al Baddah
2006-06-24 265 Tariqe Shallah Hassan Al Harbi
2006-06-24 266 Abdallah Muhammad Salih Al Ghanimi
2007-12-28 268 Abdul Rahman Nashi Badi Al Hataybi
2006-06-24 271 Ibrahim Muhammed Ibrahim Al Nasir
2007-12-28 272 Zaid Binsallah Mohammed Il Bhawith
  • Repatriated on December 2, 2007, with nine other men.[17]
2006-12-13 273 Abd Al Aziz Muhammad Ibrahim Al Nasir
2007-09-05 274 Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri
2006-12-13 286 Ziad Said Farg Jahdari
  • Repatriated on December 14, 2006.[26][33]
2005-09-30 287 Sami Abdul Aziz Salim Allaithy
2006-05-18 308 Adil Uqla Hassan Al Nusayri
  • Claims he was captured by the Taliban, who sold him to bounty hunters, who in turn sold him to the Americans.[citation needed]
  • Repatriated on December 14, 2006.[26][33]
2007-09-05 318 Rami Bin Said Al Taibi
2006-05-18 319 Mohammed Jayed Sebai
  • Repatriated together with fourteen other men on May 19, 2006.[26]
2007-09-05 322 Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat
2010-o9-16 331 Ohmed Ahmed Mahamoud Al Shurfa
2007-07-15 332 Abdullah Al Tayabi
  • Repatriated on July 16, 2007 with fifteen other men.[7][8]
2007-11-09 333 Mohamed Atiq Awayd Al Harbi
  • After transfer from Guantanamo Bay, became a leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)[42]
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[42] He surrendered to Saudi authorities that same month.[43]
2009-06-12 335 Kahlid Saad Mohammed
2006-12-13 336 Majed Hamad Al Frih
2006-06-24 337 Sa ad Ibraham Sa ad Al Bidna
2006-06-24 338 Wasim
aka
Wasm Awwad Omar Al-Wasm
2006-05-18 339 Khalid Abdallah Abdel Rahman Al Morghi
2006-12-13 340 Bessam Muhammed Saleh Al Dubaikey
  • Claims that a head injury left him with mental problems.[citation needed]
2006-12-13 341 Said Ali Al Farha
2007-09-05 342 Mohammed Mubarek Salah Al Qurbi
2006-05-18 343 Abdallah Ibrahim Al Rushaydan
2006-06-24 344 Rashid Abdul Mosleh Qayed
2006-05-18 346 Said Bezan Ashek Shayban
2007-09-05 368 Amran Baqur Mohammed Hawsawi
2007-07-15 370 Abd Al Hizani
2007-11-09 372 Sa Id Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri
  • Was the #2 in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula[24]
  • Reportedly responsible for the attack on Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009[24]*May have been involved in al-Qieda’s attack on the American embassy in Sanaa in September 2008[24]
  • One of 11 former Guantanamo detainees listed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted list in February 2009[24]
  • Died in January 2013 of wounds from a drone strike in Yemen in late 2012.[45]
2007-12-28 436 Nayif Fahd Mutliq Al Usaymi
2007-02-20 437 Faizal Saha Al Nasir
2007-11-09 438 Hani Saiid Mohammad Al Khalif
2007-12-28 439 Khalid Malu Shia Al Ghatani
Held 440 Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir
2007-09-05 493 Abdul Hakim Bukhary
  • Passed straight from detention in a Taliban prison to detention in an American prison.[citation needed]
  • A Saudi named Abdel-Hakee Abdel-Karim Ameen Bukhari was repatriated on September 16, 2007.[47]
2006-05-18 501 Nawwaf Fahd Humood Al-Otaibi
  • Repatriated together with fourteen other men on May 19, 2006.[26]
2006-05-18 505 Khalid Rashd Ali Al Muri
2006-12-13 507 Sultan Sari Sayel Al Anazi
2006-12-13 513 Abdul Rahman Mohammed Hussein Khowlanpp
2007-09-05 514 Abdallah Faris Al Unazi Thani
2007-07-15 516 Ghanim Abdul Rahman Al Harbi
  • Repatriated to Saudi custody, with fifteen other men, on July 16, 2007.[7][8]
2007-02-20 536 Mohamed Abdullah Al Harbi
  • Released with thirteen other men on November 12, 2007.[25]
Held 553 Abdul Khaled Ahmed Sahleh Al Bedani
2007-12-28 565 Abdul Hakim Abdul Rahman Abdulaziz Al Mousa
Held 566 Mansoor Muhammed Ali Qattaa
2007-7-16 570 Sabri Mohammed Ebrahim Al Qurashi
Held 572 Slah Muhamed Salih Al Zabe
2003-05-14 585 Ibrahim Umar Ali Al Umar
Died in custody 588 Mana Shaman Allabardi Al Tabi
  • Seventeen years old when captured.
  • Was on a hunger strike for over nine months, before his death was reported on June 10, 2006.[citation needed]
2007-09-05 647 Zaban Thaaher Zaban Al Shamaree
2007-11-09 650 Jabir Hasan Muhamed Al Qahtani
2006-05-18 652 Abdullah Hamid Al Qahtani
  • Repatriated together with fourteen other men on May 19, 2006.[26]
2006-05-18 664 Rashid Awad Rashid Al Uwaydah
  • Repatriated together with fourteen other men on May 19, 2006.[26]
2009-06-12 669 Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair
  • Repatriated on June 12, 2009 with two other men.[48]
Held 682 Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi Al Shirbi
2009-06-12 687 Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee
  • Repatriated on June 12, 2009 with two other men.[48]
Held 696 Jabran Said Wazar Al Qahtani
Held 713 Muhammed Murdi Issa Al Zahrani
Held 768 Ahmed Muhammed Haza Al Darbi
Held 893 Tolfiq Nassar Ahmed Al Bihani
Held 1456 Hassan Mohammed Salih Bin Attash

Saudi rehabilitation[edit]

A July 26, 2007 article from Asharq Alawsat described the Care Rehabilitation Center repatriated detainees are held in until they are finally released.[58] According to the article the detainees received special meals, had access to satellite TV, and were able to get day passes.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the facility on November 2, 2008, and spoke with several former Guantanamo detainees.[59][60][61][62]

The Saudis claimed the program had a 100 percent success rate,[citation needed] prior to the release of threatening videos in January 2009, where two men[who?] who identified themselves as former Guantanamo detainee spoke out about both Guantanamo and the Saudi program.[clarification needed] Saudi authorities then re-apprehended nine men.[citation needed]

Defection[edit]

The Saudi Arabian government has published four Saudi lists of "most wanted" suspected terrorists. On February 3, 2009, the Saudi Arabian government published a list of 85 suspected terrorists. Unlike the previous three lists, the most recent list was reported to name eleven former Guantanamo captives.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Citizens of Saudi Arabia - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Savage, Charlie (2014-03-13). "Military Repatriates Algerian Detainee From Guantánamo Bay". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-13. "The transfer is the first in nearly three months, and it reduces the inmate population there to 154." 
  3. ^ Scott Horton, "The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle", Harper's Magazine, January 2010
  4. ^ "U.S.: Dead Detainee Was of High Value". Central Florida News. May 31, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  5. ^ Andy Worthington, "Forgotten: The Second Anniversary Of A Guantánamo Suicide", 30 May 2009, Andy Worthington website, accessed 8 February 2013
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  14. ^ Exclusive: "20th Hijacker" Claims That Torture Made Him Lie, Time, March 3, 2006
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  51. ^ Trial under way for soldier in Afghan prisoner abuse case Star Telegram May 30, 2006[dead link]
  52. ^ Soldier pleads not guilty in detainee harm Seattle Post-Intelligencer May 28, 2006[dead link]
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  54. ^ Reprieve uncovers evidence indicating German territory may have been used in rendition and abuse Reprieve (organisation) October 10, 2006[dead link]
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  59. ^ "Brown meets ex-Guantanamo detainees in Saudi". Agence France Presse. 2008-11-02. Retrieved 2008-11-02.  mirror
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  62. ^ Kirsty Walker (2008-11-02). "Gordon Brown shakes hands with former Al Qaeda terrorists during visit to Saudi Arabian 'correction' centre". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-11-02.  mirror

External links[edit]