ISN# 507 – 8 pages – Detainee: (Unnamed) (Saudi)
Reasons for Detention:
Detainee travelled from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, via Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan in July 2001. The detainee’s name was found on a list of trust accounts for Al Qaeda mujehidin captured in raids on Al Qaeda safe houses in Pakistan between 11 September 2002 and 1 March 2003. The detainee participated in military operations against the United States or its coalition partners. The detainee fled to Zubair Centre in Tora Bora in November 2001 where he was wounded in an air strike. The detainee was captured by coalition forces while convalescing at an unknown location.
Detainee worked as a driver in Saudi Arabia, driving female teachers from his city to the next city. Detainee says that he went to Afghanistan as a tourist, and to study religion with Jamaayat al Tabliq (Islamic Missionary Society, often an Al Qaeda front), and because he is afflicted “with magic and demons or magic and the devil,” and if someone from Jamaayat al Tabliq read the Koran over him, the demon would be cast out. He originally intended to go to Afghanistan for two or three weeks, depending on whether he was enjoying his stay. He met some members of Jamaayat al Tabliq at a mosque in Pakistan, and travelled with them. He was robbed by the Afghans, who took his passport, watch, wallet, and shoes, and held him prisoner for a month, before turning him over to the Americans. He says elsewhere that he never fought,and resolved to surrender to the Americans himself in order to avoid being killed.
It seems remarkable how much Saudi tourism was underway in Afghanistan just at the time of the US invasion. I had never known of Afghanistan’s need for Islamic missionary activity, or its particular suitability as a site for exorcism of personal demons. “Who, me? I’m not a foreign jihadi. I’m just another tourist from Saudi Arabia with no passport, as I too was robbed by the Afghans.” One begins to suspect that the US tribunals get a bit tired of hearing the tourist robbed by the Afghans line. No, I don’t believe him, and I would not release him.