Guantanamo tales 1 – Wikileaks papers reveal how and why young men became terrorists

Wikileaks release of more than 700 top secret prisoner records from the Guantanamo Prison off the Southern Coast of the US gives a unique picture of how a terrorist is made.

The prison papers give detailed and often engaging history of terrorists — what their backgrounds were, how they ended up being ‘radicalized,’ how they got in touch with Jihadist organizations etc..

RTN brings you the first part of select biographies directly excerpted from the documents — to give you an idea of why and how these men decided to take up arms.

Please remember that while many of these biographies are corroborated with the statements of others in the prison camp, they primarily reflect what the prisoner tells his or her American captors and may not be 100% true.

This is the first part of the biographies and include the accounts of a son of a senior Saudi Interior Ministry official, a car-thief and drug addict and a ‘bad muslim’ educated in India.

Most of them took up arms due to their desire to heed the ‘call of duty’ to protect Muslim lands from invaders, in the context of the successful anti-Russian Jehad of the late 80s and early 90s.

Abu Zubaydah

Detainee is of Palestinian decent, but was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1971. Detainee pursued higher education in India.
Detainee stated he was originally a “bad Muslim”who arrived in Afghanistan in 1990-1991. He was determined to attend militant training because he was inspired by the Palestinian cause. Detainee’s family was unhappy with his decision to attend militant training and sent his brother, a doctor in Pakistan (PK), to convince detainee not to become a fighter.

Detainee did not change his mind, rather he tried to recruit his brother. Detainee stated that in 1993, following the first Afghan jihad against the Russians, he decided to dedicate his life to jihad. Detainee noticed that of all the other groups in theater, only al-Qaida remained to continue the jihad struggle. Detainee submitted the requisite paperwork to join al-Qaida and pledge bayat (an oath of allegiance) to UBL.

Yasser Al Zahranl

Detainee’s father a senior is officialin theSaudiInterior Ministry, reportedlyholding the rank of abid, or brigadier. His family moved from a longtime residence Mecca to Jeddah, in 2001. In approximatelyJune2001,detainee completedthe eleventh grade. After sitting at home for approximately two months and hearing that sheikhsfrom neighboring towns were sayingjihad in Afghanistan (AF) was a religiousduty, detaineedecidedto travel to Afghanistan.’

In approximately August 2001, aman named Ahmed Al Salami told detaineethat he should go to Karachi, Pakistan(PK), and meet up with SariaAl Makki (variant:Maki, Meki, Mekki, Meci, Mecci). Detainee traveled(using a roundtrip ticket) from Jeddahto Karachi via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He financed the trip himself with savingshe had eamed selling perfumesto hajj pilgrims. Detainee intended on returning in approximately OctoberA.{ovember 200I. Al Makki met detainee at the Karachi airport and took him to a rented room where they stayed for two days before flying to Quetta, PK. The pair spent the night in Quetta before traveling to Kabul, AF, via Kandahar,AF, and Spin Boldak, AF. They stayedovernight in a mud housein Kabul, before traveling two days to Konduz, AF.’
In Konduz, detainee was takento a place called the Taliban Center. He spent one month training under an individual named Khair Allah on the use of the Kalishnikov rifle, the Makarov pistol, hand grenades,and in field training.
Detainee was then assigneda guard position at a secondline post between Konduz and Taloqan, AF. The position was referred to as the Issamor IssamAl Bin.

Mohammed Basardah

Detainee resided in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (SA) for 23 years
before moving to Yemen. 1 Detainee was addicted to drugs and was incarcerated in Mecca in 1994 for trafficking hashish. 2 Detainee was jailed numerous times for stealing cars in Saudi
Arabia, and was subsequently deported to Yemen. Saudi authorities arrested him approximately four more times for re-entering Saudi Arabia illegally. 3 Detainee and his wife
and child returned to Mecca for Hajj (pilgrimage) in late 2000 or early 2001.

While on Hajj, detainee heard the teachings of Shaykh Hammud Bin Uqla al-Shuaibi, aka (Shaykh Hamud al-Uqla), discussing the situation in Afghanistan. Shaykh Uqla stated it was the responsibility of a Muslim to fight at least one jihad in their lifetime. 5 Back in Yemen, detainee’s childhood friend and member of the Jamaat Talblighi (JT), Fahd Muhammad Ali al-Hasni al-Zahrani, aka (Fahad al-Zahrani) recruited detainee to fight jihad. 6 Two months after returning from Hajj, in April 2001,
detainee traveled from Sanaa, YM to Karachi, Pakistan (PK) via the United Arab Emirates (AE). Detainee stayed at the Dubai Hotel in Karachi. 7 Detainee resided in the guesthouse
operated by Sharqawi Abdu Ali Hajj, ISN US9YM-001457DP (YM-1457), for two days.

From Karachi, detainee traveled to Quetta, PK where he stayed at the Taliban Hospital for one day. 9 Detainee then made his way to the al-Nebras Guesthouse in Kandahar, AF, crossing the Pakistan-Afghanistan border through Spin Boldak,

At the al-Nebras Guesthouse, Usama Bin Laden (UBL) arrived unexpectedly and delivered a motivational speech to the occupants at the guesthouse. 11 Detainee traveled to the al-Faruq Training Camp where he received training on the AK-47 assault rifle, explosives, PK machine gun, and the rocket propelled grenade (RPG) during the basic training course which lasted four weeks. 12 Two weeks into the raining, UBL spoke at the camp stating a “big attack” was coming.

When detainee completed training, he traveled to Kabul, AF where he stayed in the al-Qaiti Guesthouse for a week. From Kabul, detainee moved to the front lines at Taloqan, AF to another guesthouse operated by al-Qaiti for one month. D

etainee traveled to and from the front lines and was at Taloqan during the 11 September 2001 attacks. 14 Detainee served on the front lines under the command of Jumaboy. 15 On 25 September 2001, all Arabs were told to leave the front lines and detainee returned to Kabul. 16 In mid-October, detainee traveled to Jalalabad, AF where he stayed until the beginning of November 2001. From Jalalabad, detainee traveled to UBL’s Tora Bora Mountain Complex.

Due to the extent of the Coalition bombing, detainee heard UBL ordered all the fighters to flee Afghanistan and go to their respective embassies in Pakistan. 17

Walid Said Bin Said Zaid

Detainee attended primary and secondary school at the Hayat al-Jadida Madrassa in Taiz. After high school, detainee attended the Islamic Studies at the college of Art and Literature at the University of Taiz but left for Afghanistan when he was in his third year.

While attending the university, detainee spent his evenings after classes at the al-Nawar Jabalane Mosque in the Burbasha district of Taiz. 1 While at the mosque, his friend Jamil Muhammad Sayed al-Shabani, aka (Jamil Muhammad Said Abdullah), aka (Muath al-Yemeni), introduced detainee to Mustafa al-Sharabi, a religious lecturer.

Al- Sharabi asked detainee if he wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia (SA) to present lectures at mosques. Detainee agreed to travel to Saudi Arabia; however, a week before the scheduled departure, al-Sharabi cancelled the trip.

Al-Sharabi suggested detainee travel to Afghanistan, where detainee could provide religious instruction and receive militant training before returning to his classes in Yemen. 4 Detainee agreed and al-Sharabi introduced him to Munthir Muath al-Sanaani, who financed and facilitated detainee’s travel to Afghanistan, providing him with a passport, airline tickets, and travel expenses. 5 Detainee traveled with al-Shabani and two other Yemenis, who detainee and al-Shabani met at the Sanaa Airport.

The two Yemenis were Raduan al-Hadrahi and Ali Yahya Mahdi al-Raimi aka (Ali Yahya al- Sanaani),The group traveled 16 July 2001 from Yemen to Afghanistan via Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AE), Karachi, Pakistan (PK) and Quetta, PK. Detainee spent one night in Karachi at the Dubai Hotel and four days in Quetta at a Taliban guesthouse.

Upon their arrival in Kandahar, AF, detainee, al-Shabani, al-Hadrahi, and YM-167 stayed at the Arab guesthouse operated by Saqr Abu al-Feda and Khalid Abu Hafs. 8 At the guesthouse, detainee turned in his passport, identification, money, and chose his alias. Detainee remained at the guesthouse until late July, when enough trainees had gathered to justify arranging transportation to the al-Qaida al-Faruq Training Camp.

At al-Faruq, detainee received training on the AK-47 rifle, PK machine gun, rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, map reading, and land navigation. Detainee also attended religious lectures about jihad given by al-Qaida spokesman Sulayman Abu Ghayth.

In late July 2001, Usama Bin Laden (UBL) visited al-Faruq for a meeting with Abdul Qadus, the camp leader. 11 Detainee claimed he did not know al-Faruq was associated with al-Qaida or UBL until he was in the middle of training.

Five weeks into the training cycle, the 11 September 2001 attacks occurred. In anticipation of US and Coalition retaliation, all trainees were evacuated from al-Faruq camp. Trainees were first taken to a guesthouse in Kabul, AF, and then into the foothills of UBL’s Tora Bora Mountain complex, where Abu Thabit, a Saudi named Muhjin, and Abd al-Qadus met detainee’s group.

While in the mountain complex, detainee developed a foot fungus, so Abu Thabit escorted him and a small group to a clinic in Jalalabad for treatment. Upon detainee’s return, he was placed into a group of ten to twelve men and relocated to a cave to hide.

A short time later, detainee proceeded further into the mountains and manned another fighting position commanded by Hamza Falata. 15 After the US bombing of the region began in December 2001, Abu Thabit told detainee’s group of approximately 65 trainees that escorts would be coming to take the group across the Pakistani border.