03 May 2008

Released Guantanamo Detainee Identified as Suicide Bomber in Mosul

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Another satisfied customer of Shearman & Sterling LLP

International Herald-Tribune:

Al-Arabiya television reports that a former Guantanamo detainee carried out a recent suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

A cousin says Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti released from Guantanamo in 2005, was reported missing two weeks ago and his family learned of his death Thursday through a friend in Iraq.

The cousin, Salem al-Ajmi, told Al-Arabiya on Thursday that the former detainee was behind the latest attack in Mosul, although he did not provide more details.

Three suicide car bombers targeted Iraqi security forces in Mosul on April 26, killing at least seven people.

Mosul is believed to be the last urban stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq.

His Wikipedia entry lists the US Military’s Administrative Review Board’s Summary of Evidence

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdallah Salih Ali Al Ajmi’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on (redacted) . The memo listed the following allegations against him:

The allegations against Al Ajmi were:

a. The detainee is a Taliban fighter:

The detainee went AWOL from the Kuwaiti military in order to travel to Afghanistan to participate in the Jihad.

The detainee was issued an AK-47, ammunition and hand grenades by the Taliban.

b. The detainee participated in military operations against the coalition.

The detainee admitted he was in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban in the Bagram area.

The detainee was placed in a defensive position by the Taliban in order to block the Northern Alliance.

The detainee admitted spending eight months on the front line at the Aiubi Center, AF.[sic]

The detainee admitted engaging in two or three fire fights with the Northern Alliance.

The detainee retreated to the Tora Bora region of AF and was later captured as he attempted to escape to Pakistan.

On September 2, 2003 (just under two years after 9/11), four of Shearman & Sterling‘s finest Thomas Wilner, Neil H. Koslowe, Kristine A. Huskey, and Heather Lamberg Kafele filed a Petition for writ of Certiorari on behalf of Al Ajmi and eleven others.

Mr. Wilner wrote:

All these prisoners have asked for is a fair hearing, one in which they have the chance to learn the charges against them and to rebut the accusations before a neutral decision maker.”

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Subsequently, the prisoner denied everything:

Al Ajmi denied participating in Jihad.

Al Ajmi stated he went to Pakistan to learn and memorize the Koran — he never traveled to Afghanistan.

Al Ajmi denied any contact with the Taliban. He acknowledged that he had previously confessed to the allegations he was being asked to comment on — but those were false confessions:

“These statements were all said under pressure and threats. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t bare [sic] the threats and suffering so I started saying things. When every detainee is captured they tell him that he is either Taliban or Al-Qaida and that is it. I couldn’t bare [sic] the suffering and threatening and the pressure so I had to say I was from Taliban [sic] .”

Al Ajmi denied participating in military operations against the coalition.

Al Ajmi denied being placed in a defensive position by the Taliban:

“I am not an enemy combatant. I said this only because I was under pressure and threats and suffering.”

In response to the allegation that he admitted spending eight months in the front line at the Aiubi Center in Afghanistan, Al Ajmi responded:

“I never entered Afghanistan. I never fought with anyone. My intentions were to stay four months only but under the circumstances I had to stay for eight months. I never fought. My intentions were never to go to Afghanistan my intentions were to go to Pakistan.”

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Appearing again before an Administrative Review Board, he responded to board member questions:

Al Ajmi My role was [sic] in this Tabligh [sic] to call people to pray, to do good. To let people know that there is an end to this world so they can pray and do well.

Board Member Is it a religious organization?

Al Ajmi Yes it is.

Board Member Al Ajmi I believe that your dedication to your religion is genuine, what direction or path will that dedication take should you be released?

Al Ajmi For peace.

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Al Ajmi was repatriated to Kuwait November 3, 2005, where he was freed on bail, while he awaited trial. His trial began in March 2006, and he and five others were acquitted on July 22, 2006.

On April 26, in Mosul, seven members of the Iraqi security forces were killed by suicide car bombing, thus proving the excellence of the legal services provided by leading American law firms like Shearman & Sterling.

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Hat tip to Major DRH.

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Interestingly, Shearman & Sterling’s web site no longer includes an email address on their contact page:

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