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Gitmo Habeas Scoreboard — Government Wins

Detainees U.S. Government 32 11

Below is a list of the Guantanamo habeas corpus cases in which the U.S. government won. Information compiled by Pro Publica and David Remes, legal director of Appeal for Justice.

Moath Hamza Ahmed Al Alwi Yemeni

Arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities in late 2001 and transferred to US custody.

The government alleged that Al Alwi stayed at guesthouses and received military training at camps closely associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, that he supported Taliban fighters (including after the U.S. forces arrived in October 2001), and that he served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

Judge denied release Dec. 30, 2008. Al Alwi is appealing the decision and remains at Guantanamo.

The judge said that “more than ample evidence” proves Al Alwi stayed at Qaeda and Taliban guesthouses and trained with and supported the Taliban. This was enough to justify his indefinite detention, even without persuasive evidence that Al Alwi had taken up arms himself against the U.S. or its allies. Since this conduct alone justified his detention, the judge said, there was no need for the court to address the allegations that Al Alwi had been a bin Laden bodyguard and trained with al-Qaeda.

  • Trial Court Decision
  • Government Allegations

Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani Born in Saudi Arabia, citizen of Yemem

Surrendered to the Northern Alliance near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in or after late November 2001; transferred to US custody in June 2002.

The government alleged that sometime after May 2001 Al Bihani received military training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and joined a Taliban military unit that fought against the Northern Alliance, retreating with that unit in late November 2001, after the U.S. and allies began bombing.

Judge denied release January 2009. Al Bihani appealed the decision, but the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in favor of the government on Jan. 6.

The judge said proof that Al Bihani had served as a cook for the Taliban by itself justified his imprisonment. He said that “faithfully serving in an al-Qaeda affiliated fighting unit that is directly supporting the Taliban by helping to prepare the meals of its entire fighting force is more than sufficient ‘support’” to qualify for indefinite detention.

Musa’ab al-Madhwani Yemeni

The government alleged that al-Madhwani went to Pakistan to join al-Qaeda and trained and traveled with al-Qaeda members. It also claims he was involved in a firefight with Pakistani authorities.

Judge denied release Dec. 14, 2009. Al-Madhwani remains at Guantanamo.

The judge said there was no evidence that al-Madhwani’s testimony was tainted by abusive interrogation techniques, and that the government sufficiently proved its allegations.

Suleiman Awadh Bin Agil al-Nahdi Yemeni

Arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities in late 2001 and transferred to US custody.

The government alleged that Al Alwi stayed at guesthouses and received military training at camps closely associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, that he supported Taliban fighters (including after the U.S. forces arrived in October 2001), and that he served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

Judge denied release Dec. 30, 2008. Al Alwi is appealing the decision and remains at Guantanamo.

The judge said that “more than ample evidence” proves Al Alwi stayed at Qaeda and Taliban guesthouses and trained with and supported the Taliban. This was enough to justify his indefinite detention, even without persuasive evidence that Al Alwi had taken up arms himself against the U.S. or its allies. Since this conduct alone justified his detention, the judge said, there was no need for the court to address the allegations that Al Alwi had been a bin Laden bodyguard and trained with al-Qaeda.

Fawzi Al-Odah Kuwaiti

Captured by Pakistani border guards in November 2001.

The government alleged that Odah admitted firing an AK-47 at a training camp in Afghanistan and carrying an AK-47 through the Tora Bora mountains for ten to 11 days during the U.S. air campaign there.

Judge denied release Aug. 24, 2009.

The judge found that Odah had attended a Taliban training camp, and that “more likely than not,” he “became a part of the forces of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.”

Adham Mohammed Ali Awad Yemeni

Captured in Afghanistan in November 2001.

The government alleged that Awad was identified by a senior al-Qaeda leader as having participated in fighting against the U.S.

Judge denied release Aug. 12, 2009.

Although the judge found the case against Awad “gossamer thin,” he ruled it was “more likely than not” that Awad was, “for some period of time, ‘part of’ Al Qaida.”

Sufyian Barhoumi Algerian

Captured in Pakistan in March 2002.

The government alleged that Barhoumi traveled to Afghanistan in 1999 to attend weapons training in several camps, then trained others, and engaged in hostilities against the U.S.

Judge denied release Sept. 3 2009.

The judge’s opinion has not yet been declassified.

Belkacem Bensayah Algerian

Arrested by Bosnian authorities in October 2001 on suspicion of plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. Cleared for release January 2002, but transported to Guantanamo at request of U.S. military.

Government alleged that Bensayah planned to travel to Afghanistan in late 2001 and to fight U.S. and allied forces, and that he was al-Qaeda’s primary facilitator and financier in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Judge denied release Nov. 20, 2008. Bensayah has asked the court to reopen the case, alleging there is government evidence of his innocence that the judge didn’t see. Government has opposed his request. Bensayah remains at Guantanamo.

Although Bensayah’s five countrymen were found to be unlawfully detained, the judge said the government had produced “additional evidence that sufficiently corroborates its allegations from [an] unnamed source that Bensayah is an al-Qaida [sic] facilitator.

Hedi Hammamy Tunisian

Arrested in April 2002 in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities and transferred to U.S. custody.

The government alleged that Hammamy fought with the Taliban or al-Qaeda against the U.S., belonged to an Italian terrorist cell supporting Islamic terrorist groups, attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and belonged to a Pakistan-based organization too secret for the government to describe.

Judge denied release April 4, 2009. Hammamy is appealing the decision and remains at Guantanamo.

The judge said that evidence that Hammamy had fought the U.S. and belonged to the Italian terrorist cell justified his detention. The judge didn’t address the other allegations.

Hisham Sliti Tunisian

Captured in Pakistan in December 2001.

The government alleged that in 2000 Sliti traveled from London to Afghanistan on a false passport as a Qaeda recruit, stayed at a Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse and mosque, received military training at a Qaeda camp, and helped start a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda.

Judge denied release Dec. 30, 2008. Sliti is appealing the decision and remains at Guantanamo.

The judge found that, other than for the allegation that Sliti had helped found a terrorist organization, the government had produced evidence sufficient to justify Sliti’s indefinite detention.

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