Guantanamo tales – Part 2

This is the second part of the biographies gleaned from the Guantanamo prison records leaked by Wikileaks today.

They show, up and close, how many young men decided to take up arms for their religion, how they were facilitated by religious teachers etc..

However, it must be remembered that the histories are largely based on what the prisoners themselves said and have been written down by American interrogators. As such, they may be biased accordingly. Nevertheless, the biographies of those caught in 2001-02 in Afghanistan in America’s War on Terror do shed light on how many Arabs ended up fighting the US in Afghanistan.

Sanad Yislam al-Kazimi

Detainee graduated from high school in 1989 and joined the Yemeni Special Forces for one year, obtaining the equivalent rank of first lieutenant. Later, he performed a variety of odd jobs, including working as a bodyguard for Muhammad Said Muqbil, a member of the political counsel of the Communist Party, and driving a taxi.

In 1994, he was imprisoned for two and a half months for destroying tombstones after Shaykh Muqbil al-Wadi (deceased), a prominent radical Islamic shaykh in Yemen, told him they were un-Islamic. Detainee is married and has four children who remain in Yemen.

Detainee was having difficulty supporting his family working odd jobs, so he began to ask his friends for guidance. Yassir, aka (Abu Muslim al-Yemeni), advised detainee to travel to Chechnya for jihad, but told detainee he would have to travel to Afghanistan for training first.

Detainee stated in October 1999 he contacted a member of al-Qaida, Abdallah Ahmad Salih al-Rimi, aka (Uways), who gave him money for a passport to travel to Afghanistan. In May 2000, detainee obtained his passport with the name Abdul Aziz Ahmad Abdullah Aloqi and met with Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj, aka (Riyadh the Facilitator),

In May 2000, with YM-1457’s help, detainee flew from Sanaa, YM to Karachi, Pakistan (PK), via Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AE). Detainee then traveled to Kandahar, AF and stayed at a guesthouse operated by Abu Yassir al-Jazairi and Abu Khalud al-Yemeni, both of whom detainee identified as being al-Qaida operatives.

They took detainee’s passport and put it in a safe and told him to pick a kunya (alias). After roughly four days at the guesthouse, detainee and approximately 30 others were taken to the al-Faruq Training Camp.

Detainee arrived at the al-Faruq Training Camp at the end of May or the beginning of June 2000. He received 45 days of basic training on weapons, such as the AK-47 assault rifle, as well as topography, camouflage, formations, and mountain tactics.

During the training, detainee noted a majority of the instructors constantly promoted the ideals of al-Qaida. Detainee found the al-Faruq Training Camp to be easy, due to his experience in the Yemeni Special Forces. UBL visited the al-Faruq Training Camp twice while detainee was there.

When training ended in July 2000, detainee returned to the guesthouse in Kandahar. Detainee spoke with UBL’s secretary, Abu Basir al-Yemeni, about attending additional sniper training. Abu Basir stated he would need to swear bayat (oath of loyalty) to UBL, because the additional training required ammunition, which was scarce, and UBL needed more members.

Abu Basir took detainee to the Airport Complex where UBL maintained an office. Detainee stated as part of his oath, he would promise to fight with UBL against Jewish and Christian aggressors under the laws of Allah. Detainee explained this was not just an oath, but also a binding covenant.

Later, Abu Basir escorted detainee to a surprise meeting with UBL, where detainee was asked to become a UBL bodyguard. Detainee was honored and accepted the offer, moving into a small house where all the bodyguards stayed located next to UBL’s house.

Detainee emphatically stated he would have been willing to die for UBL at the time. Detainee stated he went to Afghanistan for one of two reasons, either to be killed in a way that would honor Allah, or to survive and receive the financial security al-Qaida would bestow on him upon his return. Detainee stated neither happened for him.

Tariq Mahmud Ahmad

Detainee claims dual citizenship. Detainee attended primary school in Alexandria, EG, from 1962 to 1968. Detainee became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which he referred to as a Salafist sect, while attending secondary school in Alexandria where he graduated in 1975.
From 1975 to 1981, he attended Alexandria University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. In 1981, detainee was arrested and imprisoned at the Tora Prison in Cairo, EG, due to his affiliation with the MB.

The arrest came after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Between 1982 and 1984, following his release from prison, detainee earned a teaching certificate in Religious Studies from the al-Azhar Islamic Institute in Cairo and worked as a construction supervisor for the Tamir Arabic Company in Alexandria.

From 1985 to 1986, he was privately employed as a textile merchant, and then worked as an accountant for al-Shirbati in Alexandria from 1986 to 1990. It was at this time that detainee moved to Athens, Greece, to work as a private contractor in construction.

Detainee left Greece in early 1992 and traveled to Zagreb, Croatia, where he worked for the World Islamic Relief Organization, a non-governmental organization (NGO). 2 In 1993, detainee joined the 3rd Bosnian Army and fought in the Bosnian war for three years.

While there, detainee gave himself the alias “Al-Layth”, meaning “the Lion,” because he was brave and never retreated. Detainee’s subsequent activities in Bosnia from 1996 to 1999 are unclear. In June 1999, combatant commander Abu Maali, aka (Abd al-Qadr al-Mukhtari), employed detainee to work as an accountant for his company named al-Karama.

Detainee was responsible for tracking food and supply credit extended to families in Bocina, BK. 4 In October 2000, detainee departed Bosnia and traveled to Turkey, Iran, and eventually to Afghanistan (AF).

At this point, Taliban authorities confiscated his passport and escorted him to the Ministry of the Interior, where he was held and interrogated for forty days regarding the nature of his visit to

After his release from Taliban custody, detainee traveled through various al-Qaida associated guesthouses before reaching the al-Faruq Training Camp where he received training in urban warfare, mountain tactics, and mortars.

After the training was complete, detainee was sent to the front lines at Kabul, AF, to fight against the Northern Alliance forces. In May 2001, detainee returned to al-Faruq for an advanced course in IEDs taught by Abd al-Rahman al-Muhajir, aka (Tariq al-Tunisi), an al-Qaida explosives trainer.

Detainee stated he (detainee) rented a house in Jalalabad in August where he remained until Jalalabad fell to anti-Taliban forces in November 2001.

Abdu Ali Sharqawi

In 1993, detainee graduated from high school in Taiz and attended Taiz University for one and a half years. In 1994, detainee moved to Sadaa, Yemen [YM] and attended the Dar al-Hadith Institute in Dimaj, YM, which was founded by prominent radical Shaykh Muqbil al-Wadi.

While at the Dimaj Institute, detainee met Abdul Quddus al-Qadi, who helped him travel to Bosnia for jihad. 2 In 1995, detainee left Yemen and flew from Sanaa to Frankfurt, Germany. After one month in Germany, detainee determined it was not possible to obtain an entry visa to Croatia, so he took a train to Austria, where he had success obtaining a visa.

With his visa, detainee took a train to Croatia and arrived in Bosnia about February 1995. Detainee attended training with the Mujahid Battalion of the Bosnian Army for 40 days. Training consisted of both physical and weapons training. Weapons training included the AK-47 assault rifle and hand grenades.

In approximately February 1996, detainee returned to Yemen. Detainee wished to join the Chechen jihad, but because of the difficulty in getting there, he traveled to Nairobi, Kenya (KE) in 1996. A week later, detainee returned to Yemen after being informed that Kenya was not safe.

In 1997, detainee traveled to Bangladesh and remained there for a month before returning to Yemen. In December 1997, detainee traveled to Saudi Arabia (SA) for the umra (minor pilgrimage). 5 In 1998, detainee traveled to Syria for a kidney operation and returned to Yemen approximately one month later.

Around this time, detainee received a phone call from Abdul Razzaq Basalih, aka (Abu Salih), whom detainee knew from Bosnia in 1995.6 Abu Salih convinced detainee to help send people to Afghanistan from the Taiz area. Detainee provided travel assistance in the form of visas, passports, airline tickets, and money to those wanting to travel to Afghanistan to receive training.

Detainee bribed officials and forged documents in order to obtain illegal visas and passports. Abu Salih and a man named Ibrahim al-Madani, aka (Anjasha), whom detainee also knew from Bosnia, gave detainee money to facilitate personnel travel to Afghanistan.

On 18 August 2000, detainee and Abu Salih departed Yemen and traveled to Kandahar, AF,
via Karachi and Quetta, PK.

Detainee attended a training camp where Radwan al-Jazairi taught him electronics. 9 Following the October 2000 bombing of the USS COLE [ship], much of the Arab population in Afghanistan was in chaos. Detainee decided to link up with UBL’s entourage for a few months.

In early 2001, detainee traveled to Karachi, where he met al-Qaida facilitator Abu Yasir al-Jazaieri, aka (Abu Bakr Muhammad Bulghiti), aka (Abu Hamza), and resumed his facilitation efforts on behalf of Yemeni militants attempting to travel to Afghanistan.

In late spring and early summer of 2001, detainee assisted militants at a rate of five to fifteen travelers per week. In late summer 2001, detainee returned to Kandahar due to escalating Pakistani mistreatment of mujahideen, including frequent robbery and harassment.

Detainee spent most of his time traveling between Kabul, Kandahar, Logar, and Tora Bora, AF. In late-2001, detainee left Tora Bora and met up with a Saudi named Abu al-Maali, who convinced detainee to travel to Pakistan to assist Arab mujahideen.

Upon arriving in Karachi, detainee moved into the home of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, aka (Mullah Bilal).. Detainee went by the alias Aziz and quickly became well-known. Detainee received and passed on over $500,000 US in the course of his facilitation activities.

Detainee estimated that he assisted approximately 100 fighters depart Pakistan prior to his capture.

Rida S al-Yazidi

Detainee did not completehigh school,claiming to have stoppedgoing to school in 1985 [Tunisia]. Detainee traveled from Tunisiato Mazzarrone, Sicily, Italy in 1986 and worked in a vineyarduntil the end of 1987.

He traveled next to Milan, IT, planning to continue his education. Due to financial difficulties, he becameinvolved in selling and using illegal drugs. Detainee was arrested 1988and again in 1991on drug-related charges.

He returned toMazzarrone at the end of 1991 and stayed for a year, when he becamemore religious by praying and reading the Koran and other Islamic literature.

Detainee returnedto Milan in the middle of 1993 and began attending the Islamic Cultural
Institute (ICD.

At that time, Shaykh Anwar Shabanwas the leader of the mosque and frequently spoke about jihad in Bosnia. In 1995,Italian authorities deportedhim to Tunisia, where he stayed for 11 months and then returned to the ICI in Milan.

Detainee knew the Italian govemment was watching attendees the ICI, so he moved to Varese,IT, in search of jobs in 1997 and supported himself by working odd jobs.

Detainee was imprisoned in Italy in 1998,along with others from the ICI mosque,on terrorism charges connected to their membership in the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA).’

Following his release June 1998,detainee met Moussa (NFI) and asked for help in going to Afghanistan. Detainee obtained a forged passportthrough his former drug contacts. In day 1999,detainee and Moussa flew to Zurich, Switzerland,where they stayed for one day before detaineeflew on to Islamabad, Pakistan(PK).

Moussa provided detainee with a letter that facilitated his entry into the Khaldan Training Camp, and the mobile phone number of Abu Hammam. Detainee drove from Islamabadto Peshawar,PK, and contactedAbu Hammam. Detaineeand Abu Hammam then crossedinto Afghanistan through Torkham, AF, and traveled to Jalalabad, AF, wherethey stayedone night in a Tajik guesthouse.

Detaineemet Abu Zubayr’there, and askedto travel with him the next day to Khowst, AF. Detaineeshowedthe handwritten letter from Moussa to Ibrahim (NFI), the person in chargeof the Khowst guesthouse.The next day, detaineewent to the Khaldan facility and presentedthe letter to the emir (leader)of the campo Abu Hareth,a whom the letter was specificallyaddressed.

Detainee trained at the Khaldan Camp from May 1999 through February2000. While in Khaldan,detainee received training in the use of small arms,explosives, small artillery, walkie-talkies,and in combattactics.

At the completionof his training, detainee traveledto Jalalabad *4 received20 daysof additional explosivestraining from an Egyptian namedAbu Khabbab.o Detaineestayedat a guesthouse during the time he was in Jalalabadwith a man he identified as Zubayr QIIFI).

Detainee left Jalalabadin April or May 2000 and traveled to a guesthouse Kandahar,AF, to relax for approximately two weeks.

Detainee left Kandaharand went back to Jalalabad until March 200I, staying at the guesthouse where he had previously stayed. After waiting for a period of time to fight in Chechnya,detainee decided to go to the front lines at Karabel,’ AF, in March 200L Detainee was later moved from Karabel to Khwaja Ghar, AF, where he was again on the front lines until August. -Detainee then traveled to the front lines at Bagram, AF, where he remained until Ramadan.

Read part one