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Walid Muhammad Salih bin Roshayed bin 'Attash
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Tawfiq bin Attash[1][2][3]
Khalled[4]
ISN 10014
Charge(s) Charged before a military commission

Walid Muhammad Salih bin Roshayed bin 'Attash (Arabic: وليد محمد صالح بن رشيد بن عطاش‎, Walīd Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ bin Rashayad bin ʾAṭṭāsh) is a prisoner of the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps who faces the death penalty for his association with al-Qaeda. [5]

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence described him as a "scion of a terrorist family".[6]

American prosecutors at the Guantanamo military commissions allege that he helped in the preparation of the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings and the USS Cole bombing [5] and acted as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden,[7] gaining himself the reputation of an "errand boy".[8] He is formally charged with selecting and helping to train several of the hijackers of the September 11th attacks.[9]

Contents

Life

Hailing from a prominent Saudi family on friendly terms with Osama bin Laden,[10] 'Attash had several brothers fighting during the tumultous 1990s in Afghanistan.[11] He studied at the University of Islamic Studies in Karachi, Pakistan.[7]

'Attash lost his right leg in 1997 while fighting against the Northern Alliance and wore a metal prothesis in its place,[8][11] leading to the nickname "Father of the Leg". [5]

In late 1999 while using the nom de guerre Khallad, 'Attash phoned Khalid al-Mihdhar, informing him up the upcoming Kuala Lumpur al-Qaeda Summit. In January 2000,'Attash flew to Malaysia, ostensibly to receive a new prosthetic leg, and attended the summit. On January 8, Malaysian Special Branch informed the CIA that 'Attash had flown to Bangkok together with al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. While there, the FBI received a transcript of a phone call from Fahd al-Quso and one of the USS Cole bombers, which mentioned giving 'Attash $5000 to purchase a new prosthesis. During later interrogation, al-Quso confessed that he was handing over $36,000, and that it wasn't actually meant to purchase a prosthesis.[8]

In October 2000 'Attash was identified as the mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing which took place in Aden, Yemen.[12]

On September 11 2002, his 17-year old brother Hassan bin 'Attash was taken prisoner by Pakistani forces raiding the Tariq Road House, handed over to the Americans and sent to The Dark Prison. [13]

Capture, tribunal

'Attash was captured together with Ali Abdul Aziz Ali in Karachi, on April 29, 2003.[4][14][15] He was also sent to The Dark Prison, and his brother was moved to Guantanamo Bay detention camps in 2003 or 2004. While there, he was interrogated under harsh circumstances, and confessed that Abderraouf Jdey had been known to him.[16] Despite having only one leg, he was forced to stand in stress positions, "an acutely difficult technique for him" as the Americans took away his false leg, forcing him to balance awkwardly on one foot until losing his balance and ripping at the tendons in his arms.[17]

He was transferred to Guantanamo on September 6, 2006, together with 13 other "high-level detainees" the CIA had been holding in secret detention.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Having been brought to Guantanamo from black sites, the new prisoners were accorded a new series of Combatant Status Review Tribunals, to determine whether the captives met the new definition of an "enemy combatant". They had been instituted in 2004 to mitigate the Supreme Court's findings that the holding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was unconstitutional.

The trailer where CSRTs were convened.

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal, listing the alleged facts that led to his detainment. These included that Mohammad Rashed Daoud al-Owhali had stated that 'Attash had told him to prepare for a suicide carbombing against East African embassies of the United States a month or two before the attacks occurred. The memo alleged that 'Attash had trained in close-combat in the Lowgar training camp and seen Osama bin Laden give a speech to graduates of the camp. The memo also alleged that 'Attash used a Yemeni merchant's registration card that had been forged by "a suspect of the USS Cole bombing". An unnamed participant in the Cole bombing also confessed to being given a letter written by 'Attash which asked for his assistance with the bombing, and was the only reason he aided the bombers.

It also said that authorities knew of an al-Qaeda cell dubbed "Father of the Leg" that revolved around a senior member, and believed this was a reference to 'Attash due to his missing limb.

It also stated that a contact stored in the phone belonging to 'Attash was also listed as a contact in a notebook belonging to "a senior al Qaida operative", and that his University ID card had been found "at an alleged al Qaida residence" in Karachi. He was also "implicated" by a notebook found during a raid, which listed payments made to various al-Qaeda members. An unnamed source also claimed to have seen him at al Farouq training camp.

A week after the March 12 2007 tribunal, 'Attash was reported to have confessed to his role in preparing both the Cole and Embassy attacks.[18] He confessed purchasing the explosives and small boat used in the Cole bombing, as well as recruiting the perpetrators, and planning the operation 18 months before the actual attack; he stated that he was in Kandahar, Afghanistan with bin Laden at the time of the Cole attack, and in Karachi at the time of the simultaneous embassy bombings meeting with the mastermind of the attack.

I was the link between Usama bin Laden and his deputy Sheikh Abu Hafs al-Masri and the cell chief in Nairobi. I was the link that was available in Pakistan. I used to supply the cell with whatever documents they need from fake stamps to visas, whatever.

His Personal Representative met with him on February 13, and told the tribunal that 'Attash confirmed that many of the allegations were basically correct, but that he had never owned a telephone and that he had forged the Yemeni registration card himself.

Faces charges before military commission

The Department of Defense announced on August 9, 2007 that all fourteen of the "high-value detainees" who had been transferred to Guantanamo from the CIA's black sites, had been officially classified as "enemy combatants".[19] Although judges Peter Brownback and Keith J. Allred had ruled two months earlier that only "illegal enemy combatants" could face military commissions, the Department of Defense waived the qualifier and said that all fourteen men could now face charges before Guantanamo military commissions.[20 ][21 ] Bin Attash, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ammar al Baluchi chose to serve as their own attorney.[22] They requested laptops, and internet access, in order to prepare their defenses. In October 2008 Ralph Kohlmann ruled that they be provided with the computers, but not the internet access.

On December 8, 2008, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the judge that he and the other four indictees wished to confess and plead guilty; however, the plea would be delayed until after mental competency hearings for al-Hawsawi and Binalshibh. Mohammed said, "We want everyone to plead together."[23]

Transfer to the USA

On August 31, 2009 Corrections One, a trade journal for the prison industry, speculated that "Walid Bin Attash" was one of ten captives they speculated might be moved to a maximum security prison in Standish, Michigan.[24 ]

References

  1. ^ Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (August 10, 2004). "Prepared Statement for the House Armed Services Committee: As Prepared for Delivery by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Washington, DC". Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/Speeches/Speech.aspx?SpeechID=143. Retrieved April 15, 2007.  
  2. ^ Robert S. Mueller, III (February 24, 2004). "Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI: Before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate". Department of Defense. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/fbi/mueller022404.htm. Retrieved April 15, 2007.  
  3. ^ "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States". 911 Commission. http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_App.htm. Retrieved April 15, 2007.  
  4. ^ a b B Raman (May 21, 2003). "Bomb jitters in Pakistan, too". Asia Times. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EE21Df01.html. Retrieved 2007-07-09.  
  5. ^ a b c OARDEC (February 8, 2007). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal - Bin 'Attash, Walid Muhammad Salih". Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/ISN10014.pdf#1. Retrieved 2007-04-15.  
  6. ^ "Detainee Biographies" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Archived from the original on date=2009-08-31. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.odni.gov%2Fannouncements%2Fcontent%2FDetaineeBiographies.pdf+&date=2009-08-31.  
  7. ^ a b CSRT Summary of Evidence memo for Walid Bin Attash, February 8, 2007
  8. ^ a b c Wright, Lawrence, The Looming Tower, 2006
  9. ^ MSNBC, Pentagon charges 6 in 9-11 attacks
  10. ^ CNN, Arrests amid Karachi terror plot, May 3, 2003
  11. ^ a b Burger, Timothy J. TIME, Profiling the Terrorists, September 6, 2006
  12. ^ Phil Hircshkorn (2006-03-28). "Al Qaeda witnesses saw Moussaoui as a bumbler". CNN. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2006%2FLAW%2F03%2F28%2Fmoussaoui%2Findex.html&date=2009-05-08. "Tawfiq Bin Atash, a senior al Qaeda operative considered the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in 2000, also assisted the 9/11 plot."  
  13. ^ OARDEC (9 November 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Bin Attash, Hassan Mohammed Ali (released September 2007)". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 64-65. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000700-000783.pdf#64. Retrieved 2007-12-21.  
  14. ^ Shannon, Elaine. Time, Al-Qaeda Moneyman Caught, May 1, 2003
  15. ^ Meyer, Josh. "Detainee confesses in Cole bombing". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cole20mar20,0,2027317.story?coll=la-home-headlines. Retrieved 2010-01-17.  
  16. ^ Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad (Walid bin 'Attash), May 21, 2004
  17. ^ Mayer, Jane, "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals", 2008. p. 169
  18. ^ Liptak, Adam. New York Times, Detainee Said to Confess Role in Cole Bombing, March 19, 2007
  19. ^ Lolita C. Baldur (Thursday, August 9, 2007). "Pentagon: 14 Guantanamo Suspects Are Now Combatants". Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1651680,00.html.   mirror
  20. ^ Sergeant Sara Wood (June 4, 2007). "Charges Dismissed Against Canadian at Guantanamo". Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=46281. Retrieved 2007-06-07.  
  21. ^ Sergeant Sara Wood (June 4, 2007). "Judge Dismisses Charges Against Second Guantanamo Detainee". Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=46288. Retrieved 2007-06-07.  
  22. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2008-10-12). "Al Qaeda defendants get laptops at Guantánamo, judge rules". Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/campaign-2008/story/723593.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. "Mohammed, his nephew Ammar al Baluchi and Walid Bin Attash have sought through standby counsel filings at the Military Commission a long list of resources they say they need to mount their defense -- including Internet links to read news accounts and do live research on databases."   mirror
  23. ^ "Top 9/11 suspects to plead guilty". BBC News. December 8, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7770856.stm. Retrieved December 8, 2008.  
  24. ^ Kathryn Lynch-Morin (2009-08-31). "Profile of 10 U.S.-bound Gitmo detainees". Corrections One. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.correctionsone.com%2Fnews%2F1879631-Profile-of-10-U-S-bound-Gitmo-detainees%2F&date=2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  
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