Babi Guesthouse

Abdel Hamid al-Ghazzawi

Abdel Hamid Ibn Abdussalem Ibn Mifta Al Ghazzawi is a citizen of Libya held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba. Al Ghazzawi's Guantanamo detainee ID number is 654. The Department of Defense reports that Al Ghazzawi was born on August 11 1962, in Tripoli, Libya.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Initially the Bush Presidency asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. This policy was challenged before the Judicial branch. Critics argued that the USA could not evade its obligation to conduct competent tribunals to determine whether captives are, or are not, entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status.

Subsequently the Department of Defense instituted the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Tribunals, however, were not authorized to determine whether the captives were lawful combatants -- rather they were merely empowered to make a recommendation as to whether the captive had previously been correctly determined to match the Bush Presidency's definition of an enemy combatant.

Summary of Evidence memo

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdel Hamid Ibn Abdussalem Ibn Miftah Al Ghazzawi Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on 16 November 2004. The memo listed the following allegations against him:

* The detainee is member of, or associated with, al Qaida or the Taliban:
#The detainee is a Libyan citizen who has traveled extensively throughout North Africa and the Middle East.
#The detainee is a member of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
#The detainee possesses substantial historical and current knowledge, up to the time of his arrest, of LIFG membership and operations.
#The LIFG is a designated foreign terrorist organization.
#The detainee visited the Khaldan and Sada training camps.
#Afghan Intelligence Forces arrested the detainee in Konar, Afghanistan in January of 2002.

Transcript

Al Ghazzawi's pro bono attorney, H. Candace Gorman, reports that Al Ghazzawi had two Combatant Status Review Tribunals. According to Gorman, when she acquired a copy of his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, she learned:

  1. His first Tribunal unanimously determined there was no evidence that he had ever been an "enemy combatant".
  2. A second Tribunal was convened in Washington DC, five weeks later, in the absence of Al Ghazzawi and his Personal Representative, which unanimously determined he was an "enemy combatant", based on secret evidence.
  3. When Gorman visited the secure site where the attorneys of the Guantanamo detainees can review the classified evidence she found that his secure file did not contain any new evidence. All the documents in his classified file had already been made public. The only difference between the classified and unclassified versions was that names that had been redacted in the unclassified version, were in the clear in the classified version.

When captives participated in their Tribunals their transcripts were normally included among the body of documents that Department of Defense was under court order to release.

Earned mention in the "No-hearing hearings" study

According to the study entitled, No-hearing hearings, Al Ghazzawi was one of the captives who had new Tribunals convened, in his absence, when the initial Tribunals determined that they should never have been determined to have been enemy combatants". The study quoted from the Legal Sufficiency Review from James R. Crisfield, the Tribunal's legal advisor:

Abdullah Hamid Abdulsalam Alghazawy v. George W. Bush -- 05-2378 (JDB)

A writ of habeas corpus, Hassan Anvar v. George W. Bush, was submitted on Abdullah Hamid Abdulsalam Alghazawy's behalf. In response, on 20 September 2006 the Department of Defense released 47 pages of unclassified documents related to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

In September 2007 the Department of Defense published dossiers of unclassified documents from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of 179 captives who had habeas corpus petitions filed on their behalf. But they withheld the documents arising from Abdullah Hamid Abdulsalam Alghazawy's Tribunal.

Two Tribunal panels

Two Tribunal panels considered whether to confirm Abdullah Hamid Abdulsalam Alghazawy's "enemy combatant" status. On November 24 2004 the majority of Tribunal panel 23 determined that he had not been an enemy combatant after all. Additional classified documents were submitted to Tribunal panel 32, which unanimously determined, on January 25 2005 that he was an enemy combatant. One of the original officers from panel 18 sat on panel 32. Tribunal panel 32 was also assigned to do a second Review of Hassan Anvar.

Administrative Review Board hearing

Detainees who were determined to have been properly classified as "enemy combatants" were scheduled to have their dossier reviewed at annual Administrative Review Board hearings. The Administrative Review Boards weren't authorized to review whether a detainee qualified for POW status, and they weren't authorized to review whether a detainee should have been classified as an "enemy combatant".

They were authorized to consider whether a detainee should continue to be detained by the United States, because they continued to pose a threat -- or whether they could safely be repatriated to the custody of their home country, or whether they could be set free.

First annual Administrative Review Board

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdel Hamid Ibn Abdussalem Ibn Miftah Al Ghazzawi's first annual Administrative Review Board, on 17 October 2005. The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention:

a. Commitment
#The detainee is of the Wahhabi Islamic sect.
#While in Saudi Arabia for Umra the detainee learned of the plight of the Afghan people in their war with the Soviet Union. He returned to Libya and was encouraged to go to Afghanistan to fight with the Mujahideen. The detainee moved to Pakistan to take up the "Afghan case."

b. Training
#The detainee completed basic training and served in the Libyan Navy. He completed small arms training and received training in small patrol boat operations
#The detainee studied meteorology through a training program in the Philippines.
#The detainee worked at a weather station in Libya.
#The detainee attended the Sada training camp. He was trained on the Kalashnikov rifle 6 and 8 mm pistols and other types of firearms including a machine gun.
#The detainee attended the Khalden training camp in Khowst, Afghanistan in 1989.
#The detainee was trained to fire the 7.62 mm RPK rifle at the Khalden training camp.

c. Connections/Associations
#The detainee stayed at the Madafa al-Ansar, a guesthouse that served many men heading to the front lines in Afghanistan.
#The detainee knew Ibn Sheikh al Libi in Peshawar.
#Ibn Sheikh al Libi was associated with the Khalden training camp.
#The detainee admitted to being friends with a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and saw various members staying at the Babi Guesthouse.
#At times throughout 1995-2001 the detainee stayed at the Jafa al-Jazeri Jalalabad guesthouse, a suspected Libyan Islamic Fighting Group guesthouse.
#The detainee resided at the Libyan Madafa in Jalalabad, Afghanistan for a total of approximately five months spread over the course of a year in 1997-1998. While there he met many members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who stayed there also.
#The detainee was identified as a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group by a senior al Qaida member.
#The detainee was identified as a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group by a foreign government agency.
#The Islamic FIghting Group has been identified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
#The detainee resided next door to member of the Northern Alliance in Kona Afganistan.
#The detainee was reported to serve as Usama Bin Laden's bodyguard and security detail at the Nibras guesthouse in 2001.
#When asked a direct question about knowing any al Qaida, the detainee stated he had met Abdul Abdullah in Jalalabad.
#The detainee met members of al Qaida. He stated there were many al Qaida members in Pakistan.
#The Khalden training cmap was managed by a senior al Qaida.

d. Detainee Actions and Statements
#The detainee did not tell his family what he was going to do when he went to Afghanistan to attend the training camp.
#The detainee passed verbal messages as he traveled throughout Afghanistan from guesthouse to guesthouse.
#The detainee entered Afghanistan with a fraudulent Iraqi passport.
#The detainee does not think it is a problem to travel with bad documents so long as one doesn't intend to hurt people.
#The detainee admitted to lying to interviewers in Bagram.

e. Other Relevant Data
#The detainee speaks Arabic and a little English, Pashtu and Farsi .
#The detainee was armed with an AK-47, three additional magazines and two grenades while serving as Usama Bin Laden's bodyguard at the Nibras guesthouse.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer:

a. The detainee claims that most of his extensive travels were as a tourist.
b. The detainee stated he always used his true name to travel, even when he used an Iraqi passport while traveling from the Sudan to Yemen.
c. The detainee stated he did not fight in Afghanistan and did not have the will to fight.
d. The detainee stated that in the total of thirteen years he lived in Afghanistan, he never fired a single shot.
e. The detainee stated he is not a member of either al Qaida or the Libyan Islamic FIghting Group.
f. The detainee stated he never supported any terrorist organization and never trained at any camps for jihad.
g. The detainee stated he attended the Khalden training camp out of obligation rather than desire.
h. The detainee claimed to not know that Ibn Sheikh al Libi was associated with the Khalden training camp until after al Libi was arrested.

Second annual Administrative Review Board

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdullah Hamid Abdalsalam Alghazawy's second annual Administrative Review Board, on 13 September 2006. The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention:

a. Commitment
#The detainee stated he was imprisoned in Afghanistan because he entered Afghanistan with a fraudulent Iraqi passport.
#The detainee traveled extensively between 1987 and 2001 to cities in Saudi Arabia, Malta, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Dubai, Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Kingdom. The detainee requested asylum in the United Kingdom and Malta and attempted to immigrated to Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Norway.
#The detaiene was listed by the Libyan authorities as belonging to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
#The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is a foreign terrorist organization.
#An al Qaida operative stated the detainee was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
#A member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group stated the detainee took part in the fighting in Afghanistan.
#The detainee stated that when he went to Afghanistan to attend training, he did not tell his family what he was going to do. Instead the detainee informed his family that he was going to Pakistan to look for gold and to check things out.

b. Training
#The detainee stated he spent approximately one year on active duty with the Libyan Navy. According to the detainee, he attended basic training where he learned basic tasks such as firing a weapon and trained on small patrol boat operations.
#The detainee stated he went to the Jaji and Sadah Training Camps.
#The detainee stated that at the Sada Camp he received training on several different types of firearms including 6-mm and 8-mm pistols, a machine gun, and a Kalashnikov rifle.
#The detainee identified the 7.62-mm RPK rifel as the weapon he trained on while at the Khalden Training Camp.
#The detainee stated that after attending training in Sudda, Pakistan, he traveled to a camp in Khowst, Afghanistan. The detainee trained there for approximately 15 days, receiving training on an unnamed heavy machine gun and the Kalashnikov rifle.

c. Connections/Associations
#The detainee stated that he resided at a madafa in Pakistan where many people came to train before they went to the front lines of Afghanistan.
#The detainee stated he stayed in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 1997.
#The detainee stated he stayed at the Libyan madafa for approximately a total of five months from 1997 to 1998. While residing at this madafa, the detainee was shown a video of an attempted assassination of a Libyan leader. The detainee stated all of the residents of this madafa, except for himself, were members of the Libyan Islamic FIghting Group.
#The detainee stated that when he was in Pakistan there were many al Qaida members and that he met people from al Qaida.
#A noted jihadist stated the detainee was a security leader for Usama bin Leader during a trip to a guest house in Afghanistan.
#An al Qaida operative stated he saw the detainee several times between 2000 and 2001 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and believe the detainee was in charge of a guest house for the Libyans.

d. Other Relevant Data
#The detainee had a Casio F-91W watch in his possession at the time of apprehension.
#The type of Casio watch the detainee had in his possession at the time of apprehension has been used in bombing that have been linked to al Qaida and radical Islamic terrorist groups with improvised explosive devices.
#The detainee state he is wanted in Libya for not complying with orders to serve again in the Navy.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer:

a. The detainee stated he is not a member of either al Qaida or the LIbyan Islamic Fighting Group.
b. The detainee stated he had gone to Pakistan originally to find work, not to fight as a jihadist. The detainee stated he did not fight at all in Afghanistan and that he did not have the will to fight.
c. The detainee denied receiving any terrorist training or being a fighter.
d. The detainee stated that in the total of 13 years in which he lived in Afghanistan, he never fired a single shot.
e. The detainee stated that he was pressured to train as a fighter, but he refused.
f. The detainee stated the only support he gave the jihad was to teach the children of the Mujahedin. For this, the detainee stated he received a salary, so it was not voluntary work for the jihad.
g. An al Qaida operative stated the detainee is not a member of al Qaida or of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
h. The detainee claimed to have no prior knowledge of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. The detainee stated that if anyone knew of such attacks but failed to act to prevent them would be just as guilty as the perpetrators of the attack.
i. The detainee stated that all religions teach peace and killing innocents is not acceptable. The detainee stated that individuals and/or groups that engage in terrorism are not preaching real religion, they are merely distorting Islam.

Health

Gorman alleged that Al Ghazzawi "has not been treated for his hepatitis or tuberculosis and has developed a severe liver infection", and characterized him as "dying a slow and painful death".

On January 16, 2008, Gorman announced on her blog that Al Ghazzawi told her he has AIDS. Privacy restrictions prevent revealing details about an individual detainee's health, but a spokesman at Guantanamo did respond that no detainee has ever had HIV or AIDS.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Abraham's affidavit

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Abraham, a reserve officer whose field was intelligence, who is a lawyer in civilian life, served with the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants, provided an affidavit about the one Combatant Status Review Tribunal on which he served.

The Tribunal where Abraham sat in judgment was Abbul Salem Al Ghizzawi's.

Military Commissions Act

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 mandated that Guantanamo captives were no longer entitled to access the US civil justice system, so all outstanding habeas corpus petitions were stayed.

Boumediene v. Bush

On June 12 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the Military Commissions Act could not remove the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US Federal Court system. And all previous Guantanamo captives' habeas petitions were eligible to be re-instated.

On July 17, 2008 H. Candace Gorman filed a "STATUS REPORT" in Civil Action No. 05-cv-02378 on behalf of Abdul Hamid Al-Ghizzawi.

References

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