Guantánamo

About Abu Zubaydah

This photo provided by U.S. Central Command, shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown. He is now held without charge as a "high-value detainee" at the prison camps at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
This photo provided by U.S. Central Command, shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown. He is now held without charge as a "high-value detainee" at the prison camps at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. ASSOCIATED PRESS

• Born Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein in Saudi Arabia on March 12, 1971.

• Captured March 28, 2002 in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

• His lawyers said in a 2008 court filing that before he got to Guantánamo in September 2006 the CIA held him prisoner in Pakistan, Thailand, Diego Garcia, Poland and North Africa, probably Morocco.

• Leaked and declassified reports show the CIA subjected him to some of its most aggressive "enhanced interrogation techniques" while in secret overseas custody, including 83 rounds of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, being kept nude, confinement to coffin-like boxes as well as to crouch in a cage. The FBI agent Ali Soufan said that, before the interrogations turned aggressive, Abu Zubaydah divulged the identity of "mukhtar," the code-name for the 9/11 mastermind -- Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

• President Bush called him a prized captive who required "an alternative set of procedures" in announcing is transfer to Guantánamo. He discussed his capture on June 6, 2002, claiming he was al-Qaida's chief of operations - a description that would be discredited.

• At Guantánamo he’s been confined to a secret prison called Camp 7, where he suffered seizures.

• In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial, although he has never been charged with a crime.

• An audio tape released by the Defense Department captured him speaking in English, and telling a military panel at Guantánamo in March 27, 2007 that he was not a member of al-Qaida. “I never conducted nor financially supported nor helped in any operation against America,” he said. Instead, he said he advocated "defensive jihad" against infidel forces invading Muslim lands, such as Bosnia and Chechnya, during the two-hour hearing.

• Guantánamo prosecutors screened a pre-capture video of him celebrating the jihad at the sentencing hearing for an al-Qaida foot soldier in February 2011.

• A Guantánamo profile of him released to McClatchy by the Wikileaks anti-secrecy group in 2011 showed that he was missing an eye by the time the CIA brought him to the base in Cuba from four years in black site custody. He was captured with two eyes.

• A 2011 McClatchy analysis of Guantánamo documents obtained by Wikileaks showed that his interrogations were used to implicate more than 125 of 779 captives held at the prison camps.

• In 2013 the news channel al-Jazeera published English translations of his Arabic-language diaries, which the U.S. translated to exploit during his CIA interrogations.

• In December 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its so-called Torture Report on the interrogation program that held Abu Zubaydah. It said, among other things, that the CIA concluded he was not a member of al-Qaida and that CIA records "do not support" claims that he "was one of the planners of the September 11 attacks."

• He’s never been charged in that case, or with any other crime at Guantánamo's war court.

• Then intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein announced on the Senate floor that he had been subjected to "non-stop interrogation and abuse, 24/7" for 17 days in August 2002, "multiple forms of deprivation and physical assault."

• The report found that the use of the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques did not work, disputing CIA claims they were "effective." Abu Zubaydah did not name "operatives in the United States," or provided "information to stop the next attack," either during those 17 days or subsequently, the report found.

• It also found that, based on an intelligence review, U.S. agents got more raw intelligence from him during his first two months of interrogations by the FBI before the CIA took charge and subjected him to the so-called EITs.

• In May 2015 the European Court of Human Rights ordered Poland to pay him 130,000 euros, or $147,000 for allowing his torture on U.S. soil. Attorneys have similar litigation against Lithuania pending.

• One finding by the Senate Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program Report was that, soon after his capture, CIA officers concluded that he "should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life." Although he has met with attorneys at Guantánamo, he has never been seen in a public forum as of June 1, 2016.

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