In 2004, the US government claimed that newly released captives from Guantanamo Bay detainment camp "returned to the battlefield". Guantanamo Bay detainment camp is a joint military prison and interrogation camp under the leadership of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) which has occupied a portion of the United States Navy's base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. The prison holds people suspected by the executive branch of the U.S. government of being al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, as well as those no longer considered suspects who are being held pending relocation elsewhere.
American spokesmen have been asserting, as early as 2004, that newly released captives "returned to the battlefield". The story, as told by American spokesmen as senior as Vice President Dick Cheney, is that these captives tricked their interrogators about their real identity, and made them think they were harmless villagers, and thus were able to "return to the battlefield." Initially these government spokesmen claimed relatively small numbers of former Guantanamo captives had returned to the battlefield. On April 2, 2007, JTF-GTMO commander Harry Harris asserted that thirty former captives "resumed terrorist activities".
In a press briefing on March 6, 2007 a "Senior Defense official" commented:
- "I can tell you that we have confirmed 12 individuals have returned to the fight, and we have strong evidence that about another dozen have returned to the fight."
Commentators questioned the credibility of the spokesmen's assertions. H. Candace Gorman, looked into the only three names had been offered of captives who had been returned to the battlefield: Abdullah Mehsud"; "Mullah Shahzada"; and Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar. She wrote, on March 18, 2007, that she found that the name Abdullah Mehsud wasn't listed on the official list of Guantanamo captives released on May 15, 2006. She found that there were captives with names close to those of the two other men. but that the records showed these men were still in custody when according to the spokesmen's assertions they had not only been released, but had been killed in combat.
On Monday, May 14, 2007, Pentagon officials Joseph Benkert and Jeffrey Gordon repeated the assertion that thirty former captives had returned to the battlefield in testimony before the United States Congress. They identified six of the thirty by name. They offered the names of the three men previously identified: "Mullah Shahzada"; "Maulavi Abdul Ghaffar"; and Abdullah Mahsud. They tied "Mullah Shahzada" to Mohamed Yusif Yaqub, a Guantanamo captive who was listed on the official list. The other three names they offered were: Mohammed Ismail; Abdul Rahman Noor; and Mohammed Nayim Farouq.
On July 12, 2007 the Department of Defense placed an additional page on their site, entitled: "Former Guantanamo Detainees who have returned to the fight". This list contained one additional name, not on the list released on May 14, 2007, for a total of seven names. The new name was Ruslan Odizhev, a Russian who Russian police reported died while resisting arrest on June 27, 2007.
On 13 January 2009, the Pentagon said that 18 former detainees are confirmed to have participated in attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks. A Spokesman said evidence of someone being "confirmed" could include fingerprints, a conclusive photograph or "well-corroborated intelligence reporting." He said the Pentagon would not discuss how the statistics were derived because of security concerns. National security expert and CNN analyst Peter Bergen, states that some of those "suspected" to have returned to terrorism are so categorized because they publicly made anti-American statements, "something that's not surprising if you've been locked up in a U.S. prison camp for several years." If all on the "confirmed" list have indeed returned to the battlefield, that would amount to 4 percent of the detainees who have been released.
Lists of alleged returnees
|363||Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar|
|367||Mohamed Yusif Yaqub|
|582||Abdul Rahman Noor|
|633||Mohammed Nayim Farouq|
|name||On July 2007
|92||Said Mohammed Alim Shah||Yes||Killed||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|203||Ravil Shafeyavich Gumarov||No||Arrest||Russia||Russia|
|69||Khaatamul Anbiya bin Daleel ul Khyayraat aka "Donkey Master"||Yes||Arrest||Russia||Russia|
|220||Abdallah Saleh Ali Al Ajmi||No||Killed||Kuwait||Iraq|
|297||Ibrahim Shafir Sen||No||Arrest||Turkey||Turkey|
|363||Shai Jahn Ghafoor||Yes||Killed||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|587||Mohammed Yusif Yaqub||Yes||Killed||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|587||Ibrahim Bin Shakaran||No||Arrest||Morocco||Morocco|
|633||Mohammed Nayim Farouq||Yes||At Large||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|674||Timur Ravilich Ishmurat||No||Arrest||Russia||Russia|
|363||Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar AKA Shai Jahn Ghafoor||
|203||Ravil Shafeyavich Gumarov|
|69||Khaatamul Anbiya bin Daleel ul Khyayraat aka "Donkey Master"||
|294||Mohammed Bin Ahmad Mizouz||
|297||Ibrahim Shafir Sen|
|367||Mohammed Yusif Yaqub
|587||Ibrahim Bin Shakaran||
The Defense Intelligence Agency asserted Ibrahim Bin Shakaran had "returned to terrorism". The DIA reported:
|582||Abdul Rahman Noor||
|633||Mohammed Nayim Farouq||
|930||Mohammed Ismail Agha||
Department of Defense spokesmen claimed in January 2009 that at least 61 former captives had returned to the fight. But they did not publish any of the men's names.
On February 3, 2009, the government of Saudi Arabia published a list of 85 most wanted suspected terrorists that included two former Guantanamo captives who had appeared in an alarming video, and nine other former captives.
On February 18, 2009, the BBC News reported that UK officials had told them that an Afghan former captive repatriated in the Spring of 2008 had risen to a high-ranking position in the Taliban, in Pakistan, following his return. The BBC reports they had been told his name was Mullah Abdul Kayum Sakir. The USA did not list any captives with names close to Abdul Kayum Sakir. The five captives repatriated on April 30, 2008, are: Nasrullah, Esmatulla, Rahmatullah Sangaryar, Sahib Rohullah Wakil, and Abdullah Mohammad Khan.
Department of Defense
The May 2009 "one in seven" claims
On May 21, 2009, Elizabeth Bumiller, writing in the New York Times, reported that they had secured access to an unreleased Pentagon report that asserted "one in seven" former captives "are engaged in terrorism or militant activity." According to the New York Times Pentagon officials had asserted 74 former captives had returned to terrorism, and had named 29 individuals. But, by May 21, 2009, the New York Times chose to publish only 15 of those 29 names because they couldn't correlate the names on the recent Pentagon lists with the earlier official lists of captives' names.
|8||Abdullah Gulam Rasoul||2007-12-12||Afghanistan||
|25||Majeed Abdullah al Joudi||2007-02-20||Saudi Arabia|
|67||Abd al Razaq Abdallah Hamid Ibrahim al Sharikh||2007-09-05||Saudi Arabia|
|154||Mazin Salih Musaid al Awfi||2007-07-15||Saudi Arabia|
|159||Abdullah al Noaimi||2005-11-04||Bahrain||
|203||Ravil Shafeyavich Gumarov||Russia|
|209||Almasm Rabilavich Sharipov||Russia|
|230||Humud Dakhil Humud Said al Jadan||2007-07-15||Saudi Arabia|
|231||Abdulhadi Abdallah Ibrahim al Sharakh||2007-09-05||Saudi Arabia|
|294||Mohammed bin Ahmad Mizouz||July 2004||Morocco||
|333||Muhammad al Awfi||2007-11-09||Saudi Arabia||
|372||Said Ali al Shihri||2007-11-09||Saudi Arabia||
|571||Saad Madi Saad al Azmi||2005-11-02||Kuwait|
|587||Ibrahim bin Shakaran||July 2004||Morocco||
|674||Timur Ravilich Ishmurat||2004-02-17||Russia||
|798||Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil||2008-04-30||Afghanistan||
DoD list of May 27, 2009
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
On May 27, 2009 the Defense Intelligence Agency published a "fact sheet" Former Guantanamo Detainee Terrorism Trends that contained a Partial Listing of Former GTMO Detainees Who have Reengaged in Terrorism. Although it was published on May 27, it bears the date April 7, 2009.
||Afghanistan||March 2003||Died fighting Afghan forces||Suspected|
|Shah Mohammed||Pakistan||May 2003||Killed fighting US forces in Afghanistan||Confirmed|
||Afghanistan||May 2003||Taliban commander in Afghanistan; Organized jailbreak in Kandahar; killed on 7 May 2004 fighting US forces||Confirmed|
|Mohammed Nayim Farouq||Afghanistan||July 2003||Association with Taliban and al-Qaida; involved in anti-coalition activity||Suspected|
|Ibrahim Shafir Sen||Turkey||November 2003||Leader of al-Qaida cells in Van; recruited and trained members, provided illegal weapons and facilitation||Confirmed|
|Mohammed Ismail||Afghanistan||January 2004||Participated in an attack against US forces Taliban member||Confirmed|
|Abdullah D. Kafkas||Russia||March 2004||Suspected involvement in an attack against a traffice police checkpoint in Nalchik in October 2005||Suspected|
|Almasm Rabilavich Sharipov||Russia||March 2004||Association with terrorist group Hezb-e-Tahrir||Suspected|
|Timur Ravilich Ishmurat||Russia||March 2004||Involved in a gas line bombing||Confirmed|
|Ruslan Anatolivich Odijev||Russia||March 2004||Participated in several terrorism acts including an October 2005 attack in the Caucasus region that killed and injured several police officers||Suspected|
||Afghanistan||March 2004||Kidnapped two Chinese engineers; Claimed responsibility for an Islamabad hotel bombing; directed a suicide attack in April 2007 killing 31 people||Confirmed|
|Ravil Gumarov||Russia||March 2004||Involved in a gas line bombing||Confirmed|
|Abdullah Ghofoor||Afghanistan||March 2004||Taliban commander; planning attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces; killed in a raid by Afghan security forces||Suspected|
|Mohammed Bin Ahmad Mizouz||Morocco||July 2004||Recruiter for al-Qaida in Iraq||Confirmed|
|Ibrahim Bin Shakaran||Morocco||July 2004||Recruiter for al-Qaida in Iraq||Confirmed|
|Isa Khan||Pakistan||September 2004||Association with Tehrik-i-Taliban||Suspected|
|Muhibullah||Afghanistan||July 2005||Association with the Taliban||Suspected|
|Abdallah Saleh Ali al-Ajmi||Kuwait||November 2005||Conducted a suicide attack in Iraq||Confirmed|
|Abdullah Majid Al-Naimi||Bahrain||November 2005||Arrested in October 2008; involved in terrorist facilitation; has known associations with al-Qaida||Confirmed|
|Saad Madhi Saad Hawash al Azmi||Kuwait||November 2005||Association with al-Qaida||Suspected|
|Majid Abdullah Lahiq al Joudi||Saudi Arabia||February 2007||Terrorist facilitation||Confirmed|
||Saudi Arabia||July 2007||Leadership figure in al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula||Confirmed|
|Abd al Razzaq Abdallah Ibrahim al-Sharikh||Saudi Arabia||September 2007||Arrested in September 2008 for supporting terrorism||Suspected|
|Abd al Hadi Abdallah Ibrahim al Sharikh||Saudi Arabia||September 2007||Arrested in September 2008 for association with terrorist members; supporting terrorism||Suspected|
|Zahir Shah||Afghanistan||November 2007||Participation in terrorist training||Confirmed|
|Abu Sufyan al Azdi al-Shihri||Saudi Arabia||November 2007||Leadership figure in al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula||Confirmed|
|Abdullah Gulam Rasoul||Afghanistan||December 2007||Taliban military commander for Afghanistan; Organizaed an assault on U.S. military aircraft in Afghanistan||Suspected|
|Hajji Sahib Rohullah Wakil||Afghanistan||April 2008||Association with terrorist groups||Suspected|
Third party comments
In August 2011 UK captive Tarek Dergoul got into a scuffle with a parking official, who was giving his car a ticket at an expired parking meter. He received a one year conditional sentence, and had to undergo a mental health assessment. Benjamin Wittes, a legal scholar who focuses on counter-terrorism issues, referred to the controversial issue of competing assessment as to what percentage of former Guantanamo captives should be considered “Guantanamo recidivists”, when he asked whether Dergoul's conviction would make him a recidivist.
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- Mohammed Yusif Yaqub's ISN is really 367.
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Gitmo Detainees Return To Terror, CBS News, October 17, 2004
Cite error: Invalid
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- Mark Denbeaux et al.. "Guantanamo: The cost of replacing legal process with politics -- incompetence and injustice and the threat to national security". Seton Hall University. http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/den052008.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-29. mirror
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- Mark Denbeaux et al. (2007-12-10). "The Meaning of "Battlefield": An Analysis of the Government’s Representations of ‘Battlefield Capture’ and ‘Recidivism’ of the Guantánamo Detainees". Seton Hall University. http://law.shu.edu/news/meaning_of_battlefield_final_121007.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-29. mirror
- Michael Melia (2007-05-15). "U.S. says 6 ex-Guantanamo prisoners 'rejoined fight' in Afghanistan". San Diego Union Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20070515-1543-guantanamo-formerprisoners.html. Retrieved 2008-07-30. "H. Candace Gorman, a Chicago-based attorney for two Guantanamo detainees, noted that three of the names on the Pentagon list do not appear on official rosters of detainees. She said she believes they were never actually held at the prison in southeast Cuba." mirror
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