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Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat

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Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat is a citizen of Saudi Arabia who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] Al Barakat's Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 322. American intelligence analysts estimate that Al Barakat was born in 1975, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Trailer where CSR Tribunals were held

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a trailer the size of a large RV. The captive sat on a plastic garden chair, with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[2][3] Three chairs were reserved for members of the press, but only 37 of the 574 Tribunals were observed.[4]

Initially the Bush administration 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 a 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 administration's definition of an enemy combatant.

Summary of Evidence memo

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on 24 September 2004.[5] The memo listed the following allegations against him:

The detainee is a [[member of al Qaida and the Taliban:
  1. The Detainee was second in command of his group in Tora Bora.
  2. The Detainee trained at al Farouq and Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  3. The Detainee has met Usama Bin Laden.
  4. The Detainee's name was found on an Internet web-site listing of captured Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
  5. The above-mentioned website's stated goal was to publish the names to place pressure on the home countries and Pakistan to release the "prisoners,"
  6. The Detainee's name was found on a computer server hard drive of Arabs incarcerated in Pakistan recovered during a raid on a suspected Al Qaeda safe house in Islamabad, Pakistan.
  7. One of Detainee's known aliases was on a list of captured Al Qaeda members discovered on a computer hard drive associated with a senior Al Qaeda figure.
  8. One of Detainee's known aliases and corresponding "trust" account were found on computer media seized during raids on Al Qaeda-associated safe houses.

Transcript

Al Barakat did not attend his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[6] He did however dictate replies to the allegations in the summary of evidence memo to his Personal Representative. On March 3, 2006, in order to comply with a court order, the Department of Defense published those replies.3

  • Al Barakat denied ever traveling to Tora Bora.
  • Al Barakat denied training at the al Farouq training camp. He acknowledged training at a camp whose name translated as "the truth".
  • Al Barakat denied ever meeting Osama bin Laden.
  • Al Barakat denied any direct knowledge as to how his name could have been placed on the suspicious lists.
    • He suggested his name could have gotten on a suspicious list because he had to flee Kabul in a hurry, and had to leave his passport behind. He suggested maybe his passport was found, and used by someone else.
    • He suggested that, since he openly answered all questions when he was in Pakistani custody, including his name, news of his capture was due to lax security by Pakistan's organs of security.
  • Al Barakat described his capture in Pakistan as a kidnapping.
  • Al Barakat pointed out that he had been cooperative and compliant his entire time in custody, and had been in Camp 2, one of the camps for well-behaved captives, for his entire stay in Guantanamo.

Administrative Review Board hearings

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".[7]

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 Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat's first annual Administrative Review Board, on 20 September 2005.[8] The three page memo listed 19 "primary factors favoring continued detention" and three "primary factors favoring release or transfer".

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee went to train at the al Siddiq Camp west of Khost, Afghanistan in 1990. He was inspired by the mosque sermons and felt it was his duty to go and train to fight so he could defend Muslims from the Soviet Union.
  2. During the summer break of 2001, the detainee traveled to Mecca to complete 5 pillars of Islam. He met an Afghani who asked the detainee what he thought about visiting Afghanistan. The detainee thought about going to Pakistan for the Dawa to teach others the true meaning of Islam.
  3. The detainee left his home in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in June 2001 to work for the al Wafa organization in Afghanistan to provide food and blankets to the Afghan refugees.
  4. According to a foreign government service, as of early August 2002, the nongovernmental organization "Wafa" was believed to have had connections to Usama bin Laden and Afghan mujahidin.
  5. The detainee traveled with 3,000 U.S. dollars, 5,000 riyals and his Saudi passport. He said that donating money is a major part of the Dawa.
  6. The detainee traveled from Jiddah [sic] to Qatar by airplane. From Qatar he went to Doha and then to Lahore, Pakistan.
  7. The detainee stated he landed in the Lahore Airport and was welcomed by Jama'at al Tabligh [sic] (JT) members who transported him and others to the JT center.
  8. Some al Qaida members have joined the al Dawa al Tabligh [sic] that is identifiable with the Jama'at al Tabligh [sic]; a legitimate Islamic missionary organization based in Pakistan and believed to be used as a cover for action by Islamic extremists.
  9. The detainee received a ride to the Markez al Dableg [sic] (Center of the Dawa) and stayed there 3 days. He contacted an Afghani and they traveled to a mosque in a city called Gougren Wal. They met up with a Pakistani, and all three of them traveled into Afghanistan by taxi to Jalalabad.
  10. When they arrived in Afghanistan, the detainee paid the Pakistani for traveling with them.
  11. From Jalalabad the detainee and the Afghani traveled to Kabul by taxi and rented a house. The detainee paid for everything.
b. Training
  1. The detainee went to Khowst and trained on the Kalashnikov [sic] at the al Siddiq training camp approximately 10 years ago. He could not recall any names of trainer at the camp.
  2. The detainee received fighter training at al Farouq and Kandahar, Afghanistan. The detainee stayed in Kandahar during the withdrawal and then went to Talaquan.
  3. The al Farouq training camp was funded by al Qaida and therefore was more advanced than other training camps in Afghanistan.
c. Connections/Associations
  1. When traveling to the Gougren Wal mosque, the detainee and the Afghani met a Pakistani named Abdel Rahim [sic].
  2. Abdul Rahim [sic] was in charge of the Gujranwala branch of the Center for Dawa.
  3. In Tora Bora the detainee was second in command of his group to Abdul Haziz al Qureshi. He was responsible for supplying the group. The detainee attended meeting with leaders of the other groups and has met Usama bin Laden (UBL).
  4. A file found on a computer used by suspected al Qaida members contains a list of 78 associates incarcerated in Pakistan. This information was found on a computer server hard drive recovered by Allied personnel in a suspected al Qaida safe house in Islamabad, Pakistan. The detainee's name appears on this list.
  5. The detainee's name appears on a computer file found during a raid against an al Qaida associated safehouse in Rawalpindi by a foreign government service.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a.

The detainee denied that he ever joined al Wafa.

b.

The detainee denied having any association with the Taliban or al Qaida. He did not serve in the military and denied having used any weapons during his travels.

c.

The detainee denied having ever seen Usama bin Laden during his travels through Afghanistan. He has never traveled to the United States and has no friends, relatives or contacts in the United States.

Second annual Administrative Review Board

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat's second annual Administrative Review Board, on 29 May 2006.[9] The memo listed 28 "primary factors favoring continued detention" and nine "primary factors favoring release or transfer".

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee stated when he was 16 years old he went to Afghanistan and trained at the al-Siddiq Camp west of Khost, Afghanistan. He was inspired by the mosque sermons to do his duty in defending Muslims from the Soviet Union.
  2. The detainee left his home in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in June 2001 to work for the al Wafa organization in Afghanistan to provide food and blankets to the Afghan refugees.
  3. The detainee traveled with 3,000 U.S. Dollars, 5,000 Riyals and his Saudi passport. The detainee stated donating the money is a major part of the Dawa.
  4. The detainee traveled from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia by airplane. From Qatar he traveled to Doha. From Doha, he travled by airplane to Lahore, Pakistan. The detainee stated when he landed in Pakistan, there were people all around the airport looking for others who were there for the Dawa. They were offering rides and he received a ride to the Markez al Bableg, which was the center of the Dawa.
b. Training
  1. The detainee was identified as a fighter that received training at al Farouq.
  2. The detainee was trained on the Kalashnikov rifle at the al Siddiq training camp.
c. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee related in a March 2004 interview that he landed in the Lahore airport and was welcomed by Jama'at al Tabligh members who transported him and others to the Jama'at al Tabligh.
  2. When the detainee arrived in Lahore, Pakistan, he stayed at the center for Dawa, run by Haji Abdu al Wahab [sic].
  3. Jama'at al Tablish is a Pakistan based Islamic missionary organization used as a cover to mask travel and activities of terrorists, including members of al Qaida.
  4. The detainee contacted an Afghani man who sat next to him in Mecca as he was praying. The Afghani man picked the detainee up at the center. The detainee stated they traveled to Lahod, the city the Afghani man lives in. The detainee stayed with the Afghani man for four days. He and the Afghani man traveled to a mosque in a city called Gougren Wal. The detainee stayed there for two days for the Dawa. While there, they met a Pakistani named Abdul Rahim (original spelling source documentL Abdel).
  5. Abdul Rahim was in charge of the Gujranwala branch for the center for Dawa.
  6. The detainee and the Afghani man left Lahore, Pakistan. Rahim also left and met up with them at the bus stop near the border. From Lahore, the detainee and the Afghani man traveled by bus to the Afghanistan border. At the bus stop they met up with Rahim. The three men traveled into Afghanistan by taxi to Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
  7. The detainee stated that the Afghani man suggested they travel to Kabul.
  8. The detainee said, from Jalalabad, he and the Afghani man traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan by taxi.
  9. While in Kabul, Afghanistan the detainee assisted a group called Mounzema Wafk (al Wafa).
  10. The detainee stated he met an employee who works in the Kabul branch of al Wafa.
  11. According to a foreign government service, as of early August 2002, the nongovernmental organization Wafa, officially named al Wafa al Igatha al Islamia, and headquared in Saudi Arabia, was believed to have had connections to Usama bin Laden and Afghan Mujahedin.
  12. The detainee wanted to see the Kandahar branch of al Wafa. He and the Afhgani man traveled from Kabul to Kandahar by taxi. The detainee stayed at the Kandahar branch of al Wafa for three or four days.
  13. The detainee stated, while he was in Kabul, he met a Pakistani man who invited him and the Afghani man to stay with him.
  14. The detainee stated the Northern Alliance attacked Kabul and the Taliban fled. He was told that if the Northern Alliance saw any middle easterners, they would kill them. The Pakistani man introduced the detainee to two men. The two men were to take the detainee to Jalalabad, Afghanistan and then to Pakistan.
  15. The detainee traveled by bus with the two men to Jalalabad, Afghanistan. When they arrived they stayed at a house.
  16. The two men told the detainee that the Northern Alliance was coming to Jalalabad, Afghanistan and they must leave.
d. Other Relevant Data
  1. The detainee was identified along with person [sic] who was in a different group at al Farouq, however they were in the same group in Tora Bora. The detainee was identified as being in charge of his group at Tora Bora for one month during Ramadan.
    a. The detainee stated they could not cross the border because the Pakistani military blocked the borders. They traveled to a village outside of the border. They stayed at the village for two weeks. They again had to leave because of the advancement of the Northern Alliance.
  2. The detainee stated that the two men and he [sic] walked through the mountains for five days and crossed the border into Pakistan. They came to another village and were captured by the Pakistani military.
    a. The Pakistani government captured 84 Mujahedin fighters that crossed the border in Nangarhar Province. A published list of prisoners from the Alneda - internet site on 20 July 2002 contains information regarding the capture of Taliban and al Qaida fighters. The detainee's name is on this list.
  3. A file found on a computer used by suspected al Qaida members contains a list of 78 associates incarcerated in Pakistan. This information was found on a computer server hard drive recovered by Allied personnel in a suspected al Qaida safe house in Islamabad, Pakistan. The detainee's name appears on this list.
  4. The detainee's name appears on a document containing a list of names, safety-deposit boxes and contents found on a floppy disk recovered from raids of a suspect al Qaida safe house.
  5. The detainee's name and information of his "Trust" account(s) appears on a computer file found during a raid against al Qaida associated safe houses in Pakistan.
  6. The detainee's name appears on a computer file found during a raid against al Qaida associated safe houses in Pakistan. According to the file, these Mujadhidin were among a group who had come to Afghanistan but who had not completed their training and therefore were not ready to fight in the war.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a.

The detainee thought about going to Pakistan for the Dawa to teach others the true meaning of Islam.

b.

The detainee left his home in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in June 2001 to work for the al Wafa organization in Afghanistan to provide food and blankets to the Afghan refugees.

c.

The detainee stated donating the money is a major part of the Dawa.

d.

The detainee stated the Afghani man asked him if he wanted to visit Afghanistan. The detainee told the Afghani man he would visit Afghanistan but he did not wish to visit places of war.

e.

While in Kabul the detainee wanted to help feed the poor and build mosques.

f.

The detainee stated he wanted to see Bamian because the Taliban destroyed the idols. He could not understand why the Taliban would do such a thing.

g.

The detainee denied having any association with the Taliban or al Qaida. He did not serve in the military and denied having used any weapons during his travels.

h.

The detainee denied having ever seen UBL during his travels through Afghanistan. The detainee has never traveled to the United States and has no friends, relatives or contacts in the United States.

i.

The detainee stated that he traveled to Khost for training to fight Jihad. He realized this was a sin and never picked up a weapon again.

Repatriation

A Saudi named Khalid Hassan Hussein al-Barakati al-Shareef was one of sixteen Saudi captives repatriated from Guantanamo on September 16, 2007.[10]

References

  1. list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  2. Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  3. Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  4. "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". United States Department of Defense. March 6, 2007. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3902. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  5. OARDEC (24 September 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Al Barakat, Khalid Hassan Husayn". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 58-59. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000300-000399.pdf#58. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  6. OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Unsworn Detainee Statement". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 32-33. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_24_1790-1831.pdf#32. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  7. 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. 
  8. OARDEC (20 September 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Barakat, Khalid Hassan Husayn". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 77-79. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_000295-000393.pdf#77. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  9. OARDEC (29 May 2006). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Barakat, Khalid Hassan Husayn". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 83-87. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_2_Factors_399-498.pdf#83. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  10. "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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