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Lufti Bin Ali
Born 1965 (age 44–45)
Tunis, Tunisia
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Mohammed Abdul Rahman
ISN 894
Charge(s) No charge
Status Held in extrajudicial detention

Lufti Bin Ali is a Tunisian held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number is 894. When the Department of Defense released a full list of all the detainees from Guantanamo it published an estimate that he was born in 1965, in Tunis, Tunisia.

As of December 2, 2009, Lotfi Bin Ali has been held at Guantanamo for six years 10 months.[2]

Contents

Identity

During his Administrative Review Board hearing detainee 894 explained that his real name was Lufti Bin Ali -- not Mohammad Abdul Rahman.[3] He said he had told his interrogators this many times. He denied that he was traveling on a false passport. He was traveling on legitimate travel documents issued in his own name -- Lufti Bin Ali.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3 x 6 meter trailer. The captive sat with his hands cuffed and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[4] Three chairs were reserved for members of the press, but only 37 of the 574 Tribunals were observed.[5]

Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. This policy was challenged before the Judicial branch. Critics argued that the USA could not evade its obligation to conduct competent tribunals to determine whether captives are, or are not, entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status.

Subsequently the Department of Defense instituted the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Tribunals, however, were not authorized to determine whether the captives were lawful combatants -- rather they were merely empowered to make a recommendation as to whether the captive had previously been correctly determined to match the Bush administration's definition of an enemy combatant.

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Summary of Evidence memo

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Mohammed Abdul Rahman's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on October 19, 2004.[6 ] The memo listed the following allegations against him:

The detainee is associated with al Qaida and the Taliban:
  1. Detainee traveled to Afghanistan in 1998 and remained living in Afghanistan until 2001.
  2. Detainee stayed at an Algerian guest houses on multiple occasions in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
  3. Detainee stayed at a guest house, which is associated with individuals who have trained at al Qaida camps.
  4. The detainee associated with several terrorists.

Transcript

Lufti chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[7] On March 3, 2006, in response to a court order from Jed Rakoff the Department of Defense published a Summarized transcript from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[8]

Lufti's opening statement

Lufti declined to respond individually to each of allegation in the "Summary of Evidence" prepared for his Tribunal, because they were all false.[7] On March 3, 2006, in response to a court order from Jed Rakoff the Department of Defense published a summarized transcript from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[8]

Lufti denied all the allegations against him.

He said he traveled to Pakistan for drugs, to heal himself. He also said he "...went to Pakistan to get married and relax and to get out of what I was in."

Testimony

In answer to the questioning from the Tribunal members:[7]

  • Lufti said he only spoke a little bit of Pashtu.
  • Prior to living in Pakistan Lufti said he lived in Italy.
  • Lufti said he had a legitimate visa to travel to Pakistan.
  • Lufti acknowledged traveling to Afghanistan, briefly, during a campaign against Arabs in Pakistan.
  • Lufti said he wasn't captured following his return to Pakistan. He was planning on going back to Europe, but he was unsuccessful.
  • During his travel to Afghanistan Lufti said he stayed in Jalalabad, as the allegation said.
  • Lufti denied engaging in weapons training while he was in Afghanistan.
  • Lufti said he couldn't remember whether his stay in Afghanistan was before or after the attacks of September 11, 2001. He thought his stay was around a month, or slightly longer.
  • Lufti said he paid for his own travels.
  • Lufti denied staying in any guesthouses in Afghanistan. He rented a house. He denied engaging in any hostilities. And he denied hosting any Taliban or Al Qaeda fighters. He asked how he could do this when he had his wife staying with him.

Administrative Review Board hearing

Hearing room where Guantanamo captive's annual Administrative Review Board hearings convened for captives whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal had already determined they were an "enemy combatant".[9]

Detainees who were determined to have been properly classified as "enemy combatants" were scheduled to have their dossier reviewed at annual Administrative Review Board hearings.[10] The Administrative Review Boards weren't authorized to review whether a detainee qualified for POW status, and they weren't authorized to review whether a detainee should have been classified as an "enemy combatant".

They were authorized to consider whether a detainee should continue to be detained by the United States, because they continued to pose a threat — or whether they could safely be repatriated to the custody of their home country, or whether they could be set free.

Summary of Evidence memo

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Mohammed Abdul Rahman first annual Administrative Review Board, on April 28, 2005.[11 ] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee left Italy for Pakistan in 1998.
  2. The detainee lived in and traveled back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan until his detention in Quetta, Pakistan.
  3. The detainee met Pakistanis from the ICI Mosque in Milan who were trying to recruit people to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  4. The Islamic Cultural Institute was known as the ICI. This mosque was shut down by Italian authorities for housing the Sami Essid Ben Khemais network, which is the core for the Tunisian Combat Group (TCG) in Italy.
  5. The detainee frequented a Tunisian guesthouse while living in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
  6. The Tunisian guesthouse was operated by a Tunisian cell with possible ties to al Qaida.
  7. The detainee stayed at a guesthouse, which is associated with individuals who have trained in al Qaida camps.
b. Associations
  1. The detainee admitted associating with various known terrorists in Jalalabad and Kabul, Afghanistan.
  2. The detainee participated in establishing the Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG).
  3. The detainee was a member of the Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG) Advisory Council.
  4. The Department of Homeland Security lists the Tunisian Combatant Group as a terrorist organization.
c. Intent
  1. The detainee admitted to having an illegal passport.
  2. The detainee has an extensive criminal record with the Italian authorities.
  3. The detainee admits he has used over 50 aliases between 1988 and 1998.
  4. The detainee is reportedly a member of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA).
  5. The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is a terrorist organization.
d. Training
  1. The detainee was conscripted into the Tunisian military at around the age of 20; and served one-year mandatory service in Tunis, Tunisia. The detainee learned to fire a rifle while in the Tunisian military but did not receive any other type of formal military training.
  2. The detainee was identified by a senior al Qaida lieutenant as having studied at the Khaldan camp in 1998 or 1999.
  3. The Khalden camp provided training to include but not limited to: basic military training, mortars, explosives, and first aid.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a.

The detainee says he was not in Pakistan for jihad and no one he associated with was involved in jihad.

b.

The detainee denied knowing any terrorists in Italy and denied being a terrorist.

c.

The detainee states that he went to Afghanistan because the Pakistani government started a campaign against Arabs.

Transcript

Lufti chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[3] In the Spring of 2006, in response to a court order from Jed Rakoff the Department of Defense published a thirteen page summarized transcript from his Administrative Review Board.[8]

Opening statement

Lufti said that he hoped the Board would be fair and not make a mistake like his Tribunal had in confirming that he was an "enemy combatant", and would realize he was not a threat. Rahman pointed out that he was ill. That he had a heart condition, and other medical conditions that the Camp medical staff had not been able to diagnose.

Lufti denied all the allegations against him. He said he was opposed to violence.

Initial testimony

In answer to questioning from the Board members:

  • Lufti said he didn't remember when he arrived in Pakistan, or when he arrived in Jalalabad.
  • Lufti said he had never heard of the Khaldan training camp until he arrived in Cuba.
  • In response to the question that the "Unclassified Summary of Evidence" said he had admitted to associating with terrorists Lufti denied making this admission.
  • Lufti said he didn't know why he was arrested in Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities never offered an explanation. They were arresting every Arab.
  • When asked what he could tell the Board about the Tunisian Combatant Group Lufti responded that he was not aware of this group, that he had never heard anything about it, and was skeptical as to whether it actually existed.
  • Lufti was asked about his use of aliases. The allegations against him said that he had used fifty aliases. Lufti acknowledged that he had problems in Italy, and that he had used some aliases, but he denied he had ever used anywhere near fifty aliases, and he said his problems in Italy had been resolved.
  • Lufti denied that his passport was an illegal passport. He said it was in his correct name, Lufti Bin Ali, not Mohammed Abdul Rahman.
  • Lufti denied that he had Arab guests stay overnight when he lived in Jalalabad.
  • Lufti denied that Italian authorities were looking for him.
  • Lufti said he had been well behaved while in Guantanamo, and that, by and large, the guards had been respectful to him.
  • Lufti said that he had heart disease, and that he had heart surgery.
  • Lufti confirmed that there was nothing in the summary of evidence that was true.

Midway during his testimony the Board members got Lufti to reconsider answering each of the allegations in turn.

Board recommendations

In early September 2007 the Department of Defense released two heavily redacted memos, from his Board, to Gordon England, the Designated Civilian Official.[12][13 ] The Board's recommendation was unanimous The Board's recommendation was redacted. England authorized his transfer on September 2, 2005.

References

  1. ^ OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  
  2. ^ http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/894-lotfi-bin-ali
  3. ^ a b OARDEC. "Summary of Administrative Review Board Proceedings of ISN 894". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 64-76. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Transcript_Set_1_395-584.pdf#64. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  
  4. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  5. ^ "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". United States Department of Defense. March 6, 2007. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3902. Retrieved 2007-09-22.  
  6. ^ OARDEC (October 19, 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal — Rahman, Mohammed Abdul". United States Department of Defense. p. page 49. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000600-000699.pdf#49. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  
  7. ^ a b c OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Statement". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 26-29. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/Set_44_2922-3064.pdf#26. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  
  8. ^ a b c "US releases Guantanamo files". The Age. April 4, 2006. http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/US-releases-Guantanamo-files/2006/04/04/1143916500334.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15.  
  9. ^ Spc Timothy Book (Friday March 10, 2006). "Review process unprecedented". JTF-GTMO Public Affairs Office. pp. pg 1. Archived from the original on 2009-08-26. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TheWire-v6-i049-10MAR2006.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-10.  
  10. ^ Army Sgt. Sarah Stannard (October 29, 2007). "OARDEC provides recommendations to Deputy Secretary of Defense". JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil%2Fstoryarchive%2F2007%2FOctober%2F102907-2-oardec.html&date=2009-09-16. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  11. ^ OARDEC (April 28, 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Rahman, Mohammed Abdul". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 19-21. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_001046-001160.pdf#19. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  
  12. ^ OARDEC (September 2, 2005). "Administrative Review Board assessment and recommendation ICO ISN 894". United States Department of Defense. pp. page 91. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000484-000582.pdf#91. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  
  13. ^ OARDEC (May 6, 2005). "Classified Record of Proceedings and basis of Administrative Review Board recommendation for ISN 894". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 92-. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000484-000582.pdf#92. Retrieved 2008-04-25.  

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