Afghan detainees being considered for release

 

A look at the Afghan prisoners at Guantánamo that U.S., Afghan and other officials have said are being considered for release as part of a peace deal with the Taliban:

Mohammad Fazl

Fazl has been held since January 2002, one of the first prisoners brought to the prison at the U.S. base in Cuba. Fazl joined the Taliban at its inception in the mid-1990s and rose as a military commander, according to U.S. military documents. He commanded 2,500-3,000 troops against the Northern Alliance from 1999 to 2001. Later he became the Taliban chief of army staff and the deputy minister of defense. He surrendered with other senior Taliban figures, including at least two being considered for transfer as part of the peace deal, to the Northern Alliance in November 2001. He was held at the Mazar-e-Sharif prison and was there during a deadly revolt against the Northern Alliance forces. He was transferred to U.S. custody shortly thereafter.

Human Rights Watch says Fazl could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate its control over the country.

Abdul Haq Wasiq

Wasiq, who is about 40, served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence and was in direct contact with supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar as well as other senior Taliban figures, according to military documents. Wasiq has been held at Guantánamo without charge since January 2002. Under Wasiq, there were widespread accounts of killings, torture and mistreatment.

Mullah Norullah Nori

Nori, who military documents say is about 45, is described as one of the most significant former Taliban officials held at Guantánamo. He was a senior Taliban commander in Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001. He previously was a Taliban governor in two provinces in Northern Afghanistan, where he has been accused of ordering the massacre of thousands of Shiite Muslims. Asked about it by military interrogators, he allegedly replied that they did what they had to do to achieve their ideal state. His brother has been a Taliban commander in more recent years though his current status is unknown. Nori has been held at Guantánamo since Jan. 11, 2002.

Khairullah Khairkhwa

Khairullah, who is about 45, was a senior Taliban official. After serving in various Taliban positions since 1994, he was appointed governor of Herat province, the largest and most important province in western Afghanistan, in 1999. He has also been minister of the interior, a Taliban military commander, according to U.S. military documents. He had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden and is a friend of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. His U.S. lawyers have argued in court papers that his affiliation with the Taliban was a matter of circumstance, rather than ideology, and that he had backed away from them by the time of his capture. His lawyers also have argued that he was merely a civil servant and had no military role, though a judge found otherwise and said there was enough evidence to justify holding him at Guantánamo. His lawyers have appealed.

Mohammed Nabi

Nabi served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan for a year in the late 1990s, then took several years off before returning to work for the Taliban again in 2000, according to U.S. military documents. Upon his return, he worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul and later served as an office manager in the border department. In the spring of 2002, he told interrogators that he received about $500 from a CIA operative as part of the unsuccessful effort to track down Mullah Omar. When that didn’t pan out, he says he ended up helping the agency locate al-Qaida members. Several months later, he was detained by the U.S. and detained at Bagram. The military says officials concluded he was one of the most significant former Taliban leaders at Guantánamo, where he has been held without charge at Guantánamo since October 2002.

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