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Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (Arabic: عبد الرحيم النشيري‎) (born January 5, 1965[1]) is one of the aliases of the suspected Saudi al-Qaeda member Abdul-Rahim Hussein Muhammad 'Abdu[2] (عبد الرحيم حسين محمد عبده). Other aliases include Mullah Bilal, Mohammed Omar al-Harazi, and Abdul Rahman Hussein al-Nashari.[3] He is alleged to be the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing and other terrorist attacks, who headed al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf states prior to his capture in November 2002 by the CIA's Special Activities Division.[4]

On February 6, 2008, the CIA director General Michael Hayden confirmed that the CIA had used waterboarding on al-Nashiri, along with two other prisoners, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Zubayda.[5][6][7]

According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence he served as Al Qaeda's chief in the Arabian Peninsula until his capture in 2002.[2]

In December 2008, he was charged before a Guantanamo Military Commission.[8] The charges were dropped in February 2009 pending the Obama administration's review of all Guantánamo detentions.[9][10] Court filings in August 2010 revealed that the Obama administration is not planning to prosecute al-Nashiri any time soon. "no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future."[11][12]

BackgroundEdit

Born in Saudi Arabia, al-Nashiri travelled to Afghanistan to participate in attacks against the Russians in the region. In 1996 he travelled to Tajikistan and then Jalalabad, where he first met Osama bin Laden.[13] Bin Laden attempted to convince al-Nashiri to join al-Qaeda at this point, but he refused because he found the idea of swearing a loyalty oath to bin Laden to be distasteful. Still, after al-Nashiri travelled to Yemen, he began to consider committing terrorist actions against United States interests.[13]

When he returned to Afghanistan in 1997, he again met bin Laden, but again declined to join in the terrorist group. Instead, he fought with the Taliban against the Afghan Northern Alliance. Still, he assisted in the smuggling of four anti-tank missiles into Saudi Arabia, and helped arrange for a terrorist to get a Yemeni passport. His cousin, Jihad Mohammad Ali al-Makki, was one of the suicide bombers in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya.[13]

Joined al-QaedaEdit

Finally, probably in 1998, al-Nashiri joined al-Qaeda, reporting directly to bin Laden. In late 1998, he conceived of a plot to attack a U.S. vessel using a boat full of explosives. Bin Laden personally approved of the plan, and provided money for it. First, al-Nashiri attempted to attack the USS The Sullivans as a part of the 2000 millennium attack plots, but the boat he used was overloaded with explosives and began to sink.[13]

The next attempt, however, the USS Cole bombing, was successful. 17 U.S. sailors were killed, and many more were injured. This success brought him fame and respect within al-Qaeda, and al-Nashiri became the chief of operations for the Arabian Peninsula.[13] He organized the Limburg tanker bombing in 2002, and he may have planned other attacks as well.

ArrestEdit

In November 2002, al-Nashiri was captured in the United Arab Emirates.[3] He is currently in American military custody in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp,[2] having previously been held at some secret location. On September 29, 2004, he was sentenced to death in absentia in a Yemeni court for his role in the USS Cole bombing.

The U.S. military put al-Rahim al-Nashiri in prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon said March 14, 2008. He was held by the CIA for an undisclosed amount of time.[14]

Combatant Status Review Edit

Main article: Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Al Nashiri was among the 60% of prisoners who chose to participate in tribunal hearings.[15] A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal of each detainee.

Al Nashiri's memo accused him of the following:[16]

  • That he had been a bomb-maker.
  • That he traveled on a forged passport.
  • That he arranged to have a small boat rented just prior to the USS Cole bombing.[16]

The full verbatim transcript from his Tribunal ended up being thirty-six pages long, after extensive redactions were made from the portions when he responded to questions about his claims that his confessions were the result of torture.[17]

The Department of Defense announced on August 9, 2007 that all fourteen of the "high-value detainees" who had been transferred to Guantanamo from the CIA's black sites, had been officially classified as "enemy combatants".[18] Although judges Peter Brownback and Keith J. Allred had ruled two months earlier that only "illegal enemy combatants" could face military commissions, the Department of Defense waived the qualifier and said that all fourteen men could now face charges before Guantanamo military commissions.[19][20]

TortureEdit

Abd al-Rahim attributed his confessions of involvement in the USS Cole bombing to torture.[21] All the details Abd al-Rahim offered of his claims of torture were redacted from his transcript.[17][22]

Through Freedom of Information Act requests the American Civil Liberties Union was able to acquire less redacted versions of the transcripts from Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, and those of three other captives.[23][24]

In his opening statement, al-Nashiri listed seven false confessions he had been induced to make while being waterboarded.[17]

  1. The French Merchant Vessel Limburg incident.
  2. The USS Cole bombing.
  3. The rockets in Saudi Arabia.
  4. The plan to bomb American ships in the gulf.
  5. Relationship with people committing bombings in Saudi Arabia.
  6. Osama Bin Laden having a nuclear bomb.
  7. A plan to hijack a plane and crash it into a ship.

During the course of his tribunal he claimed additional confessions he had made, while being tortured. He was ostensibly the last of the al-Qaeda suspects to be videotaped, as he was waterboarded in Thailand by CIA officers who questioned him. Shortly after, when a prisoner died in CIA custody in Iraq, it was decided that all such interrogations would not be videotaped, as it provided criminal "evidence".[25] All the tapes showing detainee's being waterboarded were destroyed in 2005.

It was reported on August 22, 2009, that al-Nashiri was the subject of what is described as a mock execution during his torture by the CIA. A power drill and a handgun were used.[26]

Order overruledEdit

On January 29, 2009, an order from Obama's new White House administration to suspend all Guantanamo military commission hearings for 120 days was overruled by military judge Army Colonel James Pohl in al-Nashiri's case.[27]

Charges droppedEdit

On February 5, 2009, al-Nashiri's charges were withdrawn without prejudice.[28]

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/abd_al-rahim_al-nashiri.htm
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Biographies of 14 detainees, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  3. 3.0 3.1 U.S.: Top al Qaeda operative arrested [1] 2002-11-22
  4. ' [2][dead link]
  5. Price, Caitlin. "CIA chief confirms use of waterboarding on 3 terror detainees". University of Pittsburgh School of Law. http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/02/cia-chief-confirms-use-of-waterboarding.php. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  6. CIA finally admits to waterboarding [3] 2008-02-07
  7. Inside a 9/11 Mastermind’s Interrogation [4] New York Times June 22, 2008
  8. Salon.com, Goodbye to Guantanamo?, December 23, 2008
  9. U.S. drops Guantanamo charges per Obama order [5] Reuters 2009-02-06
  10. "Executive Order -- Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities". whitehouse.gov. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Closure_Of_Guantanamo_Detention_Facilities. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  11. Administration halts prosecution of alleged USS Cole bomber [6] The Washington Post 2010-08-27
  12. http://www.aclu.org/national-security/delays-al-nashiri-case-underscore-unfairness-military-commissions-says-aclu
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (2004). "Chapter 5". 9/11 Commission Report. http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch5.htm. 
  14. Bin Laden associate transferred from CIA to Gitmo [7] 2008-03-14
  15. OARDEC, Index to Transcripts of Detainee Testimony and Documents Submitted by Detainees at Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo Between July 2004 and March 2005, September 4, 2007
  16. 16.0 16.1 OARDEC (February 8, 2007). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Al Nashiri, Abd Al Rahim Hussein Mohammed". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 1–2. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/ISN10015.pdf#1. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 OARDEC (March 14, 2007). "Verbatim Transcript of Open Session Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing for ISN 10015". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 1–36. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20070929091552/http://www.defenselink.mil/news/transcriptISN10015.pdf#1. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  18. Pentagon: 14 Guantanamo Suspects Are Now Combatants [8] Lolita C. Baldur Thursday, August 9, 2007 mirror
  19. Charges Dismissed Against Canadian at Guantanamo [9] Sergeant Sara Wood June 4, 2007
  20. Judge Dismisses Charges Against Second Guantanamo Detainee [10] Sergeant Sara Wood June 4, 2007
  21. Guantanamo detainee says torture prompted confession to USS Cole bombing [11] Gabriel Haboubi March 30, 2007
  22. Suspect at Guantanamo Claims Torture [12] Lolita C. Baldor March 30, 2007
  23. CSRT censorship [13] 2009-06-15
  24. Verbatim Transcript of Combatant Status Review Tribnnal Hearing for ISN 10015 [14] OARDEC 2007-03-14
  25. Mayer, Jane, "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals", 2008. p. 225
  26. Bombshell report on CIA interrogations is leaked [15] The Guardian 2009-08-22
  27. "Judge rejects Obama bid to stall trial". NZ Herald - AP. 2009-01-29. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10554318. Retrieved 2009-02-07. [dead link]
  28. U.S. drops Guantanamo charges per Obama order [16] 2009-02-05 mirror

External linksEdit

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