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Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri

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Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri is a citizen of Saudi Arabia who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] American intelligence analysts estimate that he was born in 1972, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Al Samiri's Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 274.

Combatant Status Review TribunalEdit

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 memoEdit

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on 13 October 2004.[2] The memo listed the following allegations against him:

a. The detainee is a Taliban or al Qaida fighter:
  1. The detainee is a Saudi Arabian citizen who traveled to Afghanistan via Lahore, Pakistan; Muthhafer Abad, Pakistan and finally to Afghanistan.
  2. The detainee traveled to Muthhafer Abad, Pakistan for weapons training.
  3. The detainee went to Afghanistan in the middle of 2001, to fight in the war.
  4. The detainee attended the Lashkar E Tayyiba (LET) training camp in Afghanistan and received training on the Kalashnikov [sic] rifle.
b. The detainee participated in military operations against the United States and its coalition partners:
  1. The detainee was on the front lines and fired his Kalashnikov [sic] rifle.
  2. The detainee stated shrapnel hit him during a United States bombing raid while fighting on the front line against the Northern Alliance.
  3. The detainee stated he fired his weapon as he retreated from the airport in Bagram, Afghanistan.
  4. The detainee was hit by shrapnel during a bombing raid on the front lines and was taken to the hospital in Jalalabad, Afghanistan for treatment during Ramadan.

TranscriptEdit

There is no record that Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri participated in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

Administrative Review Board hearingsEdit

Administrative Review Board hearing room

Hearing room where Guantanamo captive's annual Administrative Review Board hearings convened for captives whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal had already determined they were an "enemy combatant".[3]

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 BoardEdit

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Bader al Bakri Al Samiri's first annual Administrative Review Board, on 7 March 2005.[4] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee is a Saudi Arabian citizen who traveled to Afghanistan via Lahore, Pakistan; Muthhafer Abad, Pakistan and finally to Afghanistan.
  2. The detainee traveled to Muthhafer Abad, Pakistan for weapons training.
  3. The detainee went to Afghanistan in the middle of 2001 to fight in the war.
  4. The detainee was on the front lines and fired his Kalashnikov rifle.
  5. The detainee stated that he fired his weapon as he retreated from the airport in Bagram, Afghanistan.
  6. The detainee fled Bagram with other Taliban forces, to an unidentified location near Jalalabad, where they dug trenches and waited.
  7. The detainee states shrapnel hit him during a United States bombing raid while fighting on the front line against the Northern Alliance.
b. Training
  1. The detainee attended the Lashkar e Tayyiba [sic] training camp in Afghanistan and received training on the Kalashnikov [sic] rifle.
  2. The Lashkar E Tayyiba (LT) ("Army of the Righteous") is listed in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Terrorist Organization Reference Guide as a terrorist organization.
  3. The detainee's training at the camp consisted of mountain hiking, weapons assembly/disassembly, and weapons firing.
  4. Weapons training was accomplished on a pistol, a Kalashnikov rifle, and a German-made G-3 rifle.
c. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee's name was found on a list of al Qaida mujahidin and the contents of their "trust" accounts found on files recovered from various computer media seized during raids against al Qaida associated safe housess in Pakistan.
  2. Specifically, the detainee's name was found on a listing of 324 Arabic names recovered from safe house raids in Karachi, Pakistan.
  3. The detainee's name was on a list of 78 associates incarcerated in Pakistan. The list was found on a computer server hard drive recovered in a suspected al Qaeda safe house.
d. Intent
  1. The detainee stated he would follow any sort of religious decree stating that an attack on the United States was needed for the sake of Islam.
  2. The detainee stated it is the duty of true Muslims to defend Islam against infidels, calling (his interviewers) infidels, and stating that everyone must either become a Muslim, pay a fee for not converting, or be put to death.
  3. The detainee stated that he would buy weapons to fight anyone who would have alliances with the United States.
  4. When asked about the attacks on 9/11, the detainee replied, "some time terrorist people have to die."
e. Other relevant data
The detainee threatened to kill a guard's family, told multipled guards he would kill them, spit on the guards, threw urine on a guard, and threatened to throw feces on the guards.

The following primary factors favor release of transfer

a. The detainee claimed to have traveled to Afghanistan in order to live under true Islamic Law.
b. The detainee traveled to Afghanistan to visit and sightsee and just happened to be asked to help the Taliban.
c. Detainee traveled to Afghanistan for the sole purpose of sightseeing. He was taken to the front line because he was told it was a great spot to sightsee due to the fighting that was occurring. The detainee claimed he did not know who was fighting or the cause of the fighting.
d. The detainee traveled to Pakistan to purchase hashish at low prices. The hashish was for his own consumption and for resale in Saudi Arabia.
e. The detainee stated he knew LT was a pro-Islamic organization which conducted fundraising and other charitable programs. He had no knowledge that they conducted any military activities.
f. The detainee claimed he never picked up a weapon during the two months he spent on the front lines.
g. The detainee denied being a member of al Qaida.
h. The detainee denied having any prior knowledge of the 11 Sep attacks on the United States, or knowledge of plans for future attacks on the United States.
i. The detainee stated that he would not participate in an attack on the United States because he did not want to be in jail.
j. The detainee stated that he has nothing against the United States and he would not participate even if the Saudi government issued a fatwa. He also would not participate if an NGO issued a fatwa because he does not feel negatively about the United States.

TranscriptEdit

Captive 274 chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[5] The Department of Defense released a six page summarized transcript of the hearing.

Opening statementEdit

Captive 274 said his name was "Alwad Awath":

My name is Alwad Awath [sic] and that is not my name [sic], that is the first thing. Second thing that you read to me [sic] and I understood it [sic]. Third thing, I do not have any hostility toward any person and would like to [sic] whole world to live in peace. Fourth, me [sic] leaving Saudi Arabia, it was just for a vacation for a week or two and I wanted to help others any way I could help. I knew this [sic] group called Lashkar E Tayyiba, I knew about it by Hash [sic], through a man [sic]. He told me about a visit to Pakistan...... If there are other things, I will tell them in other sessions. I do not have anything else. Do you have any questions for me?

Captive 274's Assisting Military Officer prepared additional responses that captive 274 had offered during his pre-hearing interview.

  • Captive 274 said his name was "Bader Al Wath Bakri Al Samiri".
  • Captive 274 said he was poor and innocent, and that only a small portion of the allegations he faced were true.
  • Captive 274 acknowledged traveling from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, but denied the other six of the seven allegations in the Commitment section of the Summary of Evidence memo.
  • Captive 274 acknowledged being trained on the AK-47 at a Lashkar E Tayyiba training camp, but not mountain hiking, weapons assembly/disassembly, pistols or the G3 rifle.
  • Captive 274 denied all three of the allegations under Connections/Associations—that said he was listed on al Qaida documents. He said they couldn't be true.
  • Captive 274 denied making the statements attributed to him in all four of the allegations in the section entitled "Intent".
  • Captive 274 denied ever threatening any guards.
  • Captive 274 denied several of the eleven factors favoring release.

After considerable discussion the Board agreed to transliterate captive 274's name as: "Badr Awath Bakri Alsamiri"

Response to Board questionsEdit

  • Captive 274 replied that he had never fired a rifle in Afghanistan.
  • Captive 274 said he traveled to Afghanistan "To visit".
  • Captive 274 confirmed his knew was injured during an American aerial bombardment near Jalalabad while he was on his way to Pakistan.
  • In reply to the question, "How would you describe your behavior with the guards here", captive 274 replied:
The guards who treat me well and respect me, I will treat them well and I'll respect them. The ones that is different then that, I will give them by back. I will not talk to them. Because that will cause me problems and I do not want problems.
The soldiers, they lie about us a lot. They lie a lot about us. They say that incidents happen and it did not happen. I threatened and I spit at somebody, it happens a lot that they write down that we spit, but we did not spit.
  • Captive 274's Presiding Officer asked for confirmation that the soldiers he described were soldiers in the Guantanamo guard force, not soldiers in Pakistan. Captive 274 confirmed that they were, and added that: "Their treatment was worst [sic] than when we were arrested in Pakistan."

Press reportsEdit

On April 8, 2005 Adam Brookes or the BBC wrote about being allowed to sit in on an Administrative Review Board hearing.[6] Brookes had to sign a promise not to publish the captive's name. This captive faced identical allegations as captive 274. Brookes account of the questions posed and answers offered during the hearing were identical to those recorded in the official transcript of captive 274's hearing.

Brookes noted that the captive's hands and feet were shackled to the floor.[6] Brookes noted that none of the Review Board members were lawyers. Brookes noted that the captive was wearing an orange uniform -- the color issued to non-compliant captives. Brookes noted that "a broad smile" crossed the captive's face when the allegation that the real purpose of his travel to Afghanistan was to buy hashish. Brookes described this as "his only visible show of emotion."

Brookes commented, at the end of the article[6]:

"We were struck by the cursory nature of the questioning, and the absence of an attempt to reconcile conflicting claims as to what the young, sullen detainee had actually done."

Second annual Administrative Review BoardEdit

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Badr Awad Bakri Al-Sumayri's second annual Administrative Review Board, on 20 February 2006.[7] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee spent an undetermined amount of time as a reserve [sic] in the front line in Afghanistan. He fled the front line to a location near Jalalabad, Afghanistan where they dug trenches and waited. The detainee then fled on foot to Pakistan after many [sic] received injuries. The detainee received medical treatment and was arrested.
  2. The detainee stated he was on the front line in Afghanistan and fired his Kalashnikov [sic] rifle during the day for practice. He stated he was hit by shrapnel during a bombing raid while fighting on the front line against the Northern Alliance and taken to a hospital in Jalalabad for treatment during Ramadan. The detainee said he fired his weapon as he was retreating from the airport in Bagram.
  3. The detainee stated that if he read any sort of religious decree, which stated that an attack on the United States was needed for the sake of Islam, he would follow it. He also stated that it is the duty of true Muslims to defend Islam against infidels, and that everyone must either become a Muslim, pay a fee for not converting, or be put to death.
  4. The detainee stated that he would buy weapons to fight anyone who would have alliances to the United States. When asked about the attacks on 11 September 2001, he replied that some times, terrorist people have to die.
b. Training
  1. The detainee worked as a civilian armed guard.
  2. The detainee attended a month of basic training with the Navy. After this month of training, the detainee became ill and spent two months in a naval hospital before being discharged.
  3. The detainee stayed at a villa for five days, where he fired the Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle.
  4. The detainee also received training on weapons assembly and disassembly, the firing of a pistol and the German-made G-3 rifle.
c. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee's name was found on a document listing 324 Arabic names, aliases, and nationalities recovered from safe house raids associated with suspected al Qaida.
  2. The detainee's name was on a list that was found on a computer in an al Qaida safe house. The list includes the detainee's passport and safety deposit box number.
d. Intent
During his first of two trips to Pakistan, between 1421 and 1422 in the Hijira calendar (between 2000 and 2001 Gregorian) the detainee admitted that the purpose of this trip was to purchase hashish at low prices for hsi own consumption and for resale in Saudi Arabia.
e. Other Relevant Data
The detainee deserted from tne Navy, he was not discharged as noted in his file.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a. The detainee claims to have gone to Afghanistan for the sole purpose of sightseeing, and was told that the best place to sightsee was on the frontline. The detainee claims he didn't know who was fighting or the cause for which they were fighting. He also claims he never picked up a weapon during the two months he spent on the front line. Additionally, the detainee claims to have gone to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba for the purpose of charity.
b. The detainee denies being a member of al Qaida.
c. The detainee stated that he has nothing against the United States, and that he would not participate in a fatwa, even if issued by the Saudi government. He also would not participate if a non-government organization issued a fatwa because he does not feel negatively about the United States.
d. The detainee denied having any knowledge of the attacks in the United States prior to their execution on 11 September 2001 and denied knowledge of any rumors or plans of future attacks on the United States or United States interests.

TranscriptEdit

Captive 274 participated in his Board hearing. [5] In September 2007 the DoD released a 14 page summarized transcript from his 2006 Board hearing.

RepatriationEdit

A Saudi named Bakri Awad Bakri al-Sameeri was one of sixteen Saudi captives repatriated from Guantanamo on September 16, 2007.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  2. OARDEC (13 October 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Al Samiri, Bader Al Bakri". United States Department of Defense. pp. page 15. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000300-000399.pdf#15. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  3. Spc Timothy Book (Friday March 10, 2006). "Review process unprecedented". JTF-GTMO Public Affairs Office. pp. pg 1. http://www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil/wire/WirePDF/v6/TheWire-v6-i049-10MAR2006.pdf#1. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  4. OARDEC (7 March 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Samiri, Bader al Bakri". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 75-78. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_001046-001160.pdf#75. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Administrative Review Board Detainee Statement" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 86-91. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Transcript_Set_18_23052-23263.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Adam Brookes (8 April 2005). "Inside Guantanamo's secret trials". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4422825.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  7. OARDEC (20 February 2006). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al-Sumayri, Badr Awad Bakri". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 51-53. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_2_Factors_399-498.pdf#51. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  8. "Sixteen Saudis return from Guantanamo Bay prison". Asharq Al-Awsat. September 6, 2007. http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=1&id=10114. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 

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