Template:Infobox WoT detainees Abdul Hakim Bukhary (Arabic: عبدالحكيم بخاري‎) is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 493. American intelligence analysts estimate he was born in 1955, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.


Bukhary volunteered, in the 1980s, to help defend Afghanistan against its Soviet occupiers.[2] He acknowledged traveling to Afghanistan to help the Taliban. However, he promptly found himself beaten and imprisoned by the Taliban. Without realizing what it would lead to, he expressed admiration of Ahmed Shah Massoud, a Mujahideen leader from the struggle against the Soviets who had been opposed to the Taliban. Bukhary was one of approximately a dozen Guantanamo captives who went from almost directly Taliban custody, to the custody of Northern Alliance warlords, to American custody.


According to the BBC Bukhary had been jailed by the Taliban for expressing approval of Ahmad Shah Massoud, a Northern Alliance leader assassinated on September 9, 2001.[3]

Historian Andy Worthington quoted Bukhary's description of the Taliban's reaction to his comments on Massoud[2]:

“They got mad when I said I liked Massoud. They are crazy. They don’t like him. If I had known they didn’t like him, I wouldn’t have spoken. For saying that, they punished me … they beat me, they hit me very badly. They accused me of being a spy. They are stupid.”

Bukhary had originally traveled to Afghanistan to help the Taliban. Bukhary had previously fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[4] He told his tribunal he: "... was once ready to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But the former holy warrior has told his American captors he now loves democracy – and that hardline Taliban fighters prompted his conversion."


To comply with a Freedom of Information Act request, during the winter and spring of 2005, the Department of Defense released 507 memoranda. Those 507 memoranda each contained the allegations against a single detainee, prepared for their Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The detainee's name and ID numbers were redacted from all but one of the memoranda. However 169 of the memoranda had the detainee's ID hand-written on the top right hand of the first page corner. When the Department of Defense complied with a court order, and released official lists of the detainee's names and ID numbers it was possible to identify who those 169 were written about. Abdul Hakim Bukhary was one of those 169 detainees.[5]

a. The detainee is a member of al Qaida:
  1. The detainee traveled from his native Saudi Arabia[6] to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, to participate in armed jihad against the United States.
  2. The detainee met Usama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
  3. The detainee attended the al Qaida training camp at al Farouq for one day.
  4. The detainee stayed at a guest house in Afghanistan.
  5. The detainee admits long time affiliations with Jama'at Tablighi [sic].
  6. Detainee stayed with Jama'at Tablighi [sic] prior to September 11, 2001.
  7. Jama'at Tablighi, a Pakistan based Islamic missionary organization is being used as a cover to mask travel and activities of terrorists including members of al Qaida.
b. The detainee engaged in hostilities against the United States and its coalition partners:
  1. The detainee was part of a group of mujahideen [sic] that defended the Kandahar airport.


Bukhary chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[7]

Administrative Review Board

Captives whose CSRT labeled them "enemy combatants" were scheduled for annual Administrative Review Board hearings. These hearings were designed to judge whether the captive still posed a threat if repatriated to their home country.[8]

Bukhary chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[9]

Abdul Bukhary and other former Taliban prisoners

Abdul Bukhary was one of nine former Taliban prisoners the Associated Press pointed out had gone from Taliban custody to American custody.[10]


Sixteen Saudi were repatriated on September 16, 2007.[11] One of the released men was named Abdel-Hakee Abdel-Karim Ameen Bukhari.


  1. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Andy Worthington (2007-09-11). "Guantánamo: The Stories Of The 16 Saudis Just Released". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  3. Guantanamo Bay: The testimony, BBC, March 4, 2006
  4. Guantanamo Bay prisoner: From anti-American holy warrior to lover of free speech, Union Tribune, March 4, 2006
  5. Summary of Evidence memo (.pdf) prepared for Abdul Hakim Bukhary's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - October 4, 2004 - page 193
  6. The phrase "his native Saudi Arabia" was redacted when this memo was first published in March 2005.
  7. [[[:Template:DoD detainees ARB]] Summarized transcripts (.pdf)], from Abdul Hakim Bukhary'sCombatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 56-65
  8. Book, Spc. Timothy. The Wire (JTF-GTMO Public Affairs Office), "Review process unprecedented", March 10, 2006
  9. [[[:Template:DoD detainees ARB]] Summarized transcript (.pdf)], from Abdul Hakim Bukhary's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 219
  10. Paul Haven (June 30, 2007). "From Taliban jail to Gitmo – hard-luck prisoners tell of unending ordeal". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  11. "Sixteen Saudis return from Guantanamo Bay prison". Asharq Al-Awsat. September 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 

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