Abdullah Yahia Yousf Al Shabli

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Abdullah Yahia Yousf Al Shabli
File:ISN 240.jpg
Born 1977 (age 46–47)
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Other names
  • Abdallah Yahya Yusif Al-Shibli
  • Abdullah Yahia Yosuf al Shabli[1]
  • Abdallah al-Shibli[2]
  • Abdullah Yahia Yosef Al-Shibli[3]
Citizenship Yemeni

Abdullah Yahia Yousf Al Shabli (عبدالله يحيى يوسف الشبلي) was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba, from February 7, 2002, to January 5, 2017.[4][5][6] The Department of Defense reports that he was born on September 10, 1977, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number is 240. The Department of Defense was inconsistent as to his nationality, stating both Yemeni and Saudi Arabian.


Reprieve reports he was captured by Afghan Military Forces sometime between December 2001 and February 2002.[1] They reported he described his Afghan captors torturing him. In 2010, historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, described the official DoD documents as contradicting themselves.[7] Those documents describe him seeing Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora, the high mountain pass where American forces described engaging a large number of al Qaeda fighters, guarding bin Laden. They also describe him being part of a convoy of refugees fleeing down one of Afghanistan's few highways, the road connecting Kabul, Jalalabad, with the Pakistani city of Peshawar. He noted that, "At no point in this story, therefore, was there any suggestion that he engaged in combat, or had even been in a position where he might have engaged in combat, and it is surprising that he was not released in 2006 or 2007, when dozens of Saudi prisoners were released."

Official status reviews

Originally the Bush Presidency asserted that captives apprehended in the "war on terror" were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, and could be held indefinitely, without charge, and without an open and transparent review of the justifications for their detention.[8] In 2004 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Rasul v. Bush, that Guantanamo captives were entitled to being informed of the allegations justifying their detention, and were entitled to try to refute them.

Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3x5 meter trailer where the captive sat with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[9][10]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[8][11]

Scholars at the Brookings Institution, lead by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[12]

Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment

On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts.[13][14] His ten page Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on December 31, 2007. It was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral, Mark H. Buzby. He recommended continued detention under DoD control.[15]

When he was finally transferred from Guantanamo, in early 2017, certain passages were widely repeated, or paraphrased. Including that he had

Joint Review Task Force

Joint Review Task Force

Transfer to Saudi Arabia

Although al-Shabli, and dozens of other captives from Yemen, were cleared for release by the Joint Review Task Force, in 2009, a would-be suicide bomber from Kenya, who tried and failed to bring down a US airliner, had been trained and equipped in Yemen, making transfers to Yemen politically unacceptable.[16][17] Charlie Savage, of the New York Times, reported that, in 2014, the Obama Presidency gave up on Yemen, concluding it would not have improved its security before the end of his term, and strted transferring Yemenis who had been cleared for release to other countries.

In the months before his term ended observes speculated that the Obam Presidency, while falling short of his goal of emptying Guantanamo, semed to be aiming to at least transfer all the men who had been cleared for release.[16][18][19] Al-Shabli, and three other Yemenis, were tranferred to Saudi Arabia, on January 5, 2017, where they would be held in the Saudi rehabilitation centre, situated in a former resort.[20]

His transfer took place fifteen days prior to Donald Trump's inauguration, and Trump tweeted: “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”[16]

At the time of his transfer The Hill repeated the assessment of DoD analysts that al-Shibli had tried to mislead interrogators, about the length of time he had been in Afghanistan, prior to al Qaeda's attacks on September 11, 2001.[17]






  1. 1.0 1.1 "Strategy 2017". Reprieve. 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-01-15. https://web.archive.org/web/20180115103009/https://www.reprieve.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017_09_25_INT-2017-2018-Strategic-Plan-final.pdf. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "Abdullah was transferred to Guantánamo in February 2002, he had been captured and tortured by Afghan forces between December 2001 and February 2002." 
  2. Andy Worthington (2012-05-22). "The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2007 (Part Four of Ten)". http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/05/22/the-complete-guantanamo-files-wikileaks-and-the-prisoners-released-in-2007-part-four-of-ten/. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "In addition, Abdul Rahman al-Amri (ISN 199, identified as Jabd al-Rahman al-Umari, who died in Guantánamo in May 2007) allegedly “identified detainee as the emir (leader) of [his] 12-man group of fighters,” Abdullah al-Shabli (ISN 240, a Yemeni who is still held, and was identified here as Abdallah al-Shibli) “identified detainee as Talat, a leader of a group in Tora Bora,” and Abdul Latif Nassir (ISN 244, a Moroccan who is still held, identified here as Abdullatif Nasser) “identified detainee as his subordinate in Tora Bora.” Even Moazzam Begg (ISN 558, a British national released in January 2005) “stated that he spent three days at a camp in Tora Bora commanded by detainee,” even though there has never been any credible suggestion that Begg was ever in Tora Bora." 
  3. "List of 124 detainees in Guantanamo Bay officially announced". Saba - Yemen News Agency. 2018-03-12. http://www.sabanews.net/en/print99206.htm. Retrieved 2018-03-12. "The following is a list of 124 detainees whom US authorities officially announced, 114 of whom are Yemeni nationals, including three brought recently from Afghanistan, Abdul-Salam Ali Ali al-Hila, Fadhi Ahmad, and Ameen Al-Yafee." 
  4. Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Abdullah Yahia Yousf al Shabli". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-01-12. https://web.archive.org/web/20170112032820/http://projects.nytimes.com:80/guantanamo/detainees/240-abdullah-yahia-yousf-al-shabli. Retrieved 2018-03-09. "He was transferred to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2017." 
  5. OARDEC. "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. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-15.  16x16px Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
  6. "Detainee Information". US Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2016-08-12. https://web.archive.org/web/20160812022717/https://www.ayotte.senate.gov/files/documents/Guantanamo%20Detainee%20Transparency%20Report.pdf. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  7. Andy Worthington (2010-09-17). "Who Are the Remaining Prisoners in Guantánamo? Part Two: Captured in Afghanistan (2001)". http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/09/17/who-are-the-remaining-prisoners-in-guantanamo-part-two-captured-in-afghanistan-2001/. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "The authorities also made an attempt to link him with Osama bin Laden, but it was not entirely convincing. It was alleged that he stated that he “saw Osama bin Laden passing by in the Tora Bora mountains,” but it not clear that he was ever in Tora Bora, because, elsewhere in the government’s evidence, it was stated that, after fleeing Kabul, he stayed in a house in Jalalabad for three weeks, and then traveled in a convoy towards the Pakistani border." 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "U.S. military reviews 'enemy combatant' use". USA Today. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11. https://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-10-11-guantanamo-combatants_N.htm. "Critics called it an overdue acknowledgment that the so-called Combatant Status Review Tribunals are unfairly geared toward labeling detainees the enemy, even when they pose little danger. Simply redoing the tribunals won't fix the problem, they said, because the system still allows coerced evidence and denies detainees legal representation." 
  9. Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  11. "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 24 November 2008. https://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbc.co.uk%2F2%2Fhi%2Famericas%2F1773140.stm&date=2008-11-24. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. https://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.brookings.edu%2F%7E%2Fmedia%2Fresearch%2Ffiles%2Freports%2F2008%2F12%2F16%2520detainees%2520wittes%2F1216_detainees_wittes.pdf&date=2012-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  13. Christopher Hope; Robert Winnett; Holly Watt; Heidi Blake (2011-04-27). "WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed -- Guantanamo Bay has been used to incarcerate dozens of terrorists who have admitted plotting terrifying attacks against the West – while imprisoning more than 150 totally innocent people, top-secret files disclose". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8471907/WikiLeaks-Guantanamo-Bay-terrorist-secrets-revealed.html. Retrieved 2012-07-13. "The Daily Telegraph, along with other newspapers including The Washington Post, today exposes America’s own analysis of almost ten years of controversial interrogations on the world’s most dangerous terrorists. This newspaper has been shown thousands of pages of top-secret files obtained by the WikiLeaks website." 
  14. "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/guantanamo-bay-wikileaks-files/8476672/WikiLeaks-The-Guantanamo-files-database.html. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  15. "Abdallah Yahya Yusif Al Shibli: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Abdallah Yahya Yusif Al Shibli, US9YM-000240DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/guantanamo-bay-wikileaks-files/8476672/WikiLeaks-The-Guantanamo-files-database.html. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Charlie Savage (2017-01-05). "4 Yemeni Detainees at Guantánamo Are Transferred to Saudi Arabia". New York Times (Washington, DC). Archived from the original on 2018-02-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20180219223003/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/politics/yemeni-detainees-guantanamo-saudi-arabia.html. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "They included two men, Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir and Abdullah Yahia Yousf al Shabli, who were approved for transfer by a six-agency task force in 2009 but remained stranded because Yemen was in chaos." 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Rebecca Kheel (2017-01-05). "Four Gitmo detainees transferred to Saudi Arabia". The Hill. Archived from the original on 2018-03-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20180310105200/http://thehill.com/policy/defense/312916-four-yemeni-gitmo-detainees-arrive-in-saudi-arabia. "Bawazir and Shibli were cleared for transfer in 2009, but couldn't be sent home because of a law barring transfers to Yemen because of its civil war." 
  18. Guy Birchall (2017-01-06). "GITMO OUT OF HERE How Obama plans to transfer 18 ‘dangerous’ Guantanamo detainees – including men accused of being Al Qaeda bombmakers and 9/11 plotters – to Saudi Arabia before Trump becomes president". The Sun (UK). Archived from the original on 2017-02-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20170210015116/https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2550715/obama-plans-transfer-18-dangerous-guantanamo-detainees-saudi-arabia/. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "A military source has claimed a total of 22 detainees are set to be transferred out of the controversial institution before Trump's inauguration on January 20, The Daily Mail reports." 
  19. Missy Ryan. "Obama administration begins final tranche of Guantanamo prisoner transfers". Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/01/05/obama-administration-begins-final-tranche-of-guantanamo-prisoner-transfers/?utm_term=.ca8065183d65. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "The inmates include Muhammad Ali Abdullah Muhammad Bawazir, whose treatment during a lengthy hunger strike was addressed in a federal court case; Salem Ahmad Hadi Bin Kanad, who was shot during an Afghanistan prison riot in 2001 but later recovered; and Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim and Abdallah Yahya Yusif Al-Shibli. The prisoners had been held since as early as January 2002." 
  20. "4 Released Guantanamo Detainees Arrive in Saudi Arabia". Voice of America. 2017-01-05. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20170710043955/https://www.voanews.com/a/four-detainees-leave-guantanamo-bay-for-saudi-arabia/3665380.html/. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "The Saudi interior ministry said King Salman has decided the four men will live in the kingdom and take part in “a rehabilitation and de-radicalization program.”" 
  21. Carol Rosenberg (2017-01-05). "Saudi accepts 4 Guantánamo captives; prison now holds 55". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. https://web.archive.org/web/20170106151508/http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article124755459.html. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "The four Yemeni men sent to Saudi on Jan. 5, 2016 from left: Mohammed Abu Ghanim, Mohammed Bwazir, Salem bin Kanad and Abdullah al Shibli. All four got to Guantánamo the year the detention center opened, three of them early enough to be held at the makeshift prison called Camp X-Ray." 
  22. Carol Rosenberg (2017-01-03). "Trump: Halt Guantánamo transfers. White House: No.". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. https://web.archive.org/web/20170106160743/http://www.miamiherald.com:80/newsAA/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article124303854.html. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  23. "Yemeni Guantanamo inmates transferred to Saudi Arabia: Release of four detainees comes despite President-elect Donald Trump's demand for a freeze on transfers". Al Jazeera. 2017-01-05. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/yemeni-guantanamo-inmates-transferred-saudi-arabia-170105195938544.html. Retrieved 2018-03-10. "The transfers are part of a final push by President Barack Obama to shrink the inmate population there before leaving office on January 20." 
  24. Andy Worthington (2017-01-06). "Who Are the Four Guantánamo Prisoners Freed in Saudi Arabia, Leaving 55 Men Still Held?". Archived from [www.andyworthington.co.uk/2017/01/06/who-are-the-four-guantanamo-prisoners-freed-in-saudi-arabia-leaving-55-men-still-held/ the original] on 2017-06-06. https://web.archive.org/web/20170606013737/http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/05/22/the-complete-guantanamo-files-wikileaks-and-the-prisoners-released-in-2007-part-four-of-ten/. Retrieved 2018-03-11. "The first of the four, whose case has rarely been discussed, is Abdullah Yahia Yousef al Shabli (ISN 240), who, according to US records, was born in Jeddah on September 10, 1977. Al-Shabli was approved for release by the task force in 2009, but is one of 30 men the task force placed in a category of their own invention, “conditional detention,” which was only supposed to end when someone — it was not determined who, or how — established that the security situation in Yemen had improved. As I explained in August, when 12 Yemenis were released in the UAE, “those in the ‘conditional detention’ group languished until the Obama administration began finding countries that would offer new homes to them, a process that only began last November and that, before [the August] releases, had led to 19 men being given new homes — in the UAE, Ghana, Oman, Montenegro and Saudi Arabia.” Six of the 12 Yemenis freed in August were from the “conditional detention group,” and with the two releases to Saudi Arabia from this group, just three men from this group are left — plus another two men from the 126 other men approved for release by the task force." 

External links

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