Razak, who is in his late 30s, is from Artux, a county north of Kashgar, a city near the Chinese borders with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that traditionally has been a hotbed of Uighur nationalism. He left that area for Uzbekistan, then joined a village of Uighur refugees living in an encampment outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan, according to a written account by his former U.S. lawyer, Seema Saifee.
When U.S. soldiers invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, Razak and 17 other Uighurs fled to Pakistan, where tribesmen handed them over to police, who in turn gave them to U.S. forces in exchange for $5,000 each, Saifee wrote.
Muhamman, a 35-year-old former farmer, was the only Uighur at Guantanamo considered a high risk detainee, said Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism researcher at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank in Washington concerned with counterterrorism.
At his combatant status review tribunal, a type of military court, Muhamman acknowledged that hed been a weapons trainer at a camp under Abdul Haq, a fellow Uighur who was a top lieutenant to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Joscelyn said. Abdul Haq was killed in a drone strike in Pakistans North Waziristan in early 2010, he added.
The camp was run by heavy hitters . . . al Qaida and Taliban trainers, he said.
Director of National Intelligence James Clappers office released a document earlier this month that indicated concern that some freed Guantanamo detainees had taken up arms again. The summary of the document said that of 603 detainees freed from Guantanamo as of July 15, 100 were confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorist activities.
In the first known case of a former detainee to have been killed in battle in the Syrian civil war, an Islamic opposition group fighting to topple the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad posted a video of the funeral of a former Guantanamo prisoner, Moroccan-born Mohammed al Alami.
Other Guantanamo ex-detainees in addition to Uighurs have found themselves unhappy in the nations where U.S. officials transferred them.
One, Libyan-born Abdul al Ghazzawi, 50, was transferred from the naval base in Cuba to the country of Georgia in 2010, unwilling to return to Libya under then-strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Ghazzawi was expected to return to the Libyan capital of Tripoli Thursday evening.