New York Times notes that another satisfied client of Shearman & Sterling has returned to his normal life.
The emergence of a former GuantÃ¡namo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaedaâ€™s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.
The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemenâ€™s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
His status was announced in an Internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by an American counterterrorism official.
â€œTheyâ€™re one and the same guy,â€ said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was discussing an intelligence analysis. …
Mr. Shihri, 35, trained in urban warfare tactics at a camp north of Kabul, Afghanistan, according to documents released by the Pentagon as part of his GuantÃ¡namo dossier. Two weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he traveled to Afghanistan via Bahrain and Pakistan, and he later told American investigators that his intention was to do relief work, the documents say. He was wounded in an airstrike and spent a month and a half recovering in a hospital in Pakistan.
The documents state that Mr. Shihri met with a group of â€œextremistsâ€ in Iran and helped them get into Afghanistan. They also say he was accused of trying to arrange the assassination of a writer, in accordance with a fatwa, or religious order, issued by an extremist cleric.
However, under a heading describing reasons for Mr. Shihriâ€™s possible release from GuantÃ¡namo, the documents say he claimed that he traveled to Iran â€œto purchase carpets for his storeâ€ in Saudi Arabia. They also say that he denied knowledge of any terrorists or terrorist activities, and that he â€œrelated that if released, he would like to return to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, wherein he would reunite with his family.â€
â€œThe detainee stated he would attempt to work at his familyâ€™s furniture store if it is still in business,â€ the documents say.
This terrorist, let’s recall, was released by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, along with dozens of others who have rejoined the jihad. Obama has 245 he can release.