Category Archive 'Mohamed al-Harbi'

21 Feb 2009

More Catch and Release

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Mohamed Abdullah Al Harbi aka Abul Hareth Mohammed al-Awf

Another US-released Guantanamo detainee, Mohamed Abdullah Al Harbi aka Abul Hareth Mohammed al-Awfi, has been reported captured by the Yemeni government while working as a high level al-Qaeda operative.

The (Yemen) Interior Ministry says it sent back the Saudi national, Ahmed Owaidan al-Harbi, on Thursday, 20 days after his arrest in eastern Yemen. The ministry hasn’t released any details on al-Harbi’s case.

The extradition comes two days after Yemen returned another Saudi national who was once held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo and later became an al-Qaida operative in Yemen. Officials say that suspect, Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, surrendered himself

Evan Kolhmann’s NEFA report on The Eleven: Saudi Guantanamo Veterans Returning to the Fight provides a revealing profile.

However, contrary to his account before the ARB panel, the U.S. military learned from its own sources that al-Harbi had allegedly been “in Chechnya for approximately nine months in 1999… A source reported that the detainee underwent basic training and physical training in Chechnya.” … Aside from his purported tour of duty with the mujahideen in Chechnya, according to the U.S. military, al-Harbi was also recognized by a “senior al Qaida lieutenant” as “possibly being at his site, a guest house in Kabul,
in 1998 or 1999.”

In the late fall of 2001, Mohammed al-Harbi traveled on a religious pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca for the holy month of Ramadan. It was “at this time he decided to travel to Pakistan and provide assistance to the Afghani refugees that were residing at camps on Pakistani soil.”…

Al-Harbi gathered together at least 14,000 Saudi Riyals and US$8,000 (a total of approximately $12,000) and on the eighth day of Ramadan (November 24, 2001), traveled from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Karachi, Pakistan. …

According to intelligence obtained by the U.S. military, Mohammed al-Harbi was a “member” of Al-Wafa al-Ighatha al-Islamiya, a thinly-veiled fraudulent charitable front for Al-Qaida terror financing. As cited previously, Al-Wafa “claimed to be a charitable organization, but it was common knowledge that al Wafa delivered weapons and supplies to Afghanistan fighters in Tora Bora… Al Wafa provided money of all currencies, including United States Dollars, to those fighters who needed it.” The Pentagon further alleged that al-Harbi had been identified as “one of approximately 400 Arabs who claimed to be members of a subset of al Wafa… [who] were actually Mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan.”…

Al-Harbi was … quick to deny the charges that he had “received hand grenade, machine gun, pistol, map reading and explosives training” at Al-Qaida’s Al-Farouq terrorist training camp; that he had served as a “fighter in Kandahar, Afghanistan”; and, that he had participated in the battle of Tora Bora in late November 2001, and had been seen fighting there. …[He] continued to stubbornly maintain his innocence. …

On November 9, 2007, al-Harbi was released from U.S. military detention in Guantanamo Bay and transferred to the custody of local security forces in Saudi Arabia.

Less than six months after returning to Saudi Arabia, Mohammed al-Harbi fled with a group of other Saudi Al-Qaida members to sanctuary in neighboring Yemen. It is not known when, how, or why al-Harbi was able to escape the custody of the Saudi government. On January 23, 2009, the Al-Fajr Media Center published new video footage of joint sermons delivered by a group of Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaida leaders in a recording titled, “From Here We Will Begin and in Al-Aqsa We Shall Meet.” One of the men featured in the video was former Gitmo detainee Mohammed al-Harbi, carrying the official title of “Field Commander of the Al-Qaida Organization in the Arabian Peninsula.” During his speech, al-Harbi threatened:

    “I say to America’s collaborators… the Saudis… the grenade of our brother Ali al-Mabadi, may Allah have mercy upon him, is in our hands, and by Allah, we shall fulfill his oath or die trying—unless you seek forgiveness from Allah for the war that you are waging against Islam and the Muslims. And we warn our imprisoned brothers to avoid the ‘attention and advice program’ which is administered by the ignorant oppressor Mohammed Bin Nayef and his criminal helpers like Dai Turki al-Atayan—who headed the delegation of psychological investigators sent to Cuba, and helped the Americans to conduct psychological examinations and to extract confessions from us using psychiatric methods employed in the prisons of Saudi Arabia against the mujahideen. [These methods are used] in order to persuade us to stray from Islam and our path using every tool and method through the plan of advice… Finally, we say to the Christian countries which are preparing for war in Saudi Arabia and which are supporting the Christian war against the Muslims: by Allah, we are surely coming for you! By Allah, we are surely coming for you! We are walking the path of our former brothers, like Shaykh Yousef al-Ayyiri, Shaykh Esa al-Awshin, Khaled al-Haj, Turki al-Dandani, Ali al-Mabadi, and other lions of Allah who have been slain in Saudi Arabia. And we say to the police and [internal] investigations [system] of the Saudis, and to those who guard the Jews and the Christians: repent to Allah for the deception and treachery that you are culpable for when you guard the entrances to their embassies, their secret temples, their population centers, and their military and intelligence bases. The one who gives fair warning cannot [afterwards] be blameworthy, O’ servants of the Dirham and the Dinar.”

It was the Bush Administration that released this particular lamb. Just imagine the caliber of the people the Obama Administration is going to be releasing.

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