Deleted:Said Ali al-Shihri

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Template:Undue Sa'id Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri is a Saudi Arabian[1] deputy leader of the militant group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and possibly involved in the kidnappings and murders of foreigners in Yemen.[2][3] Said Ali al-Shihri was captured at the Pakistan border with Afghanistan, in December 2001, and was one of the first detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba, arriving on January 21, 2002.[2][4][5] He was held in extrajudicial detention in American custody for almost six years.[2][3] Following his repatriation to Saudi custody he was enrolled in a rehabilitation and reintegration program. Following his release, he traveled to Yemen.

On December 24, 2009, it was reported that he may have been killed in an air strike in Yemen. But on January 19, 2010, Yemen security authorities reported they had captured him.

On February 22, 2010, the Yemen Post reported that the release of an audio recording, after the reports of his death, or capture, confirmed he was at large.[6]

Life

The Yemen Post reports al Shihri did not finish high school.[6]

According to the United States Department of Defense, al-Shihri spent two months in Afghanistan in approximately 2000, and trained at the Libyan training camp north of Kabul.[7]

Al Shihri said that he was in Afghanistan to purchase carpets for his family's furniture business.[7] He denied any knowledge of weapons or participation in hostilities.[7]

In 2001, Al-Shiri left Saudi Arabia and went to Bahrain. He was on a watch list because he was suspected of funding other fighters' travels to Afghanistan after 9-11. He was also accused of helping Saudis acquire false travel documents to enter into Afghanistan. Specifically he was accused of meeting with "a group of extremists in Mashad, Iran", and briefing them on entry procedures into Afghanistan via the Al-Tayyibat crossing.[8]

Capture

Al-Shihri was captured at the Pakistan border crossing in December 2001 near Spin Boldak.[8] He was traveling with an Afghan driver, another Saudi man who worked with the Red Crescent, and a member from the Saudi embassy in Pakistan, in a vehicle taking supplies to a camp in Afghanistan.[8] He was found with an injured leg incurred during the American aerial bombardment of Afghanistan. He was also allegedly carrying $1,900.[9]

He claimed he wanted to give the money to the Red Crescent charity organization, but according to the US, he used the money to finance the travel for other fighters traveling from Bahrain to Afghanistan.[9]

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2005 Summary of Evidence memo

The three page Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2005 annual annual review listed fifteen "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and eight "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".[7]

According to the 2005 memo he didn't enter Afghanistan across its western border with Iran but across its eastern border with Pakistan.[7]

According to the 2005 memo the instructions he received to assassinate someone were from Sheikh Hamud Al-Uqqla.[7]

According to the 2005 memo he met Abu Faisal al Ghamdi, the Herat regional director for the charity al Wafa which American intelligence officials assert had ties to terrorism, and another al Wafa director had his phone number in his pocket litter.[7]

The 2005 memo repeated Al Shihri's account of his travel and wounding in Afghanistan—that he traveled there for humanitarian purposes, and was wounded within 17 hours of his arrival.[7] He claimed he had never heard of either al Wafa or al Qaida prior to his arrival in Guantanamo.

He denied any knowledge of weapons or participation in hostilities, or any participation in assisting militant recruits to travel to Afghanistan. He stated that Osama bin Laden "did not represent Islam".[7]

2006 Summary of Evidence memo

The four page Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2006 annual annual review listed twenty-two "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and nine "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".[7]

According to the 2006 memo he decided to do charity work in Pakistan after he heard a speech by Shaykh Abdullah al-Jibrin at the Al-Rajeh mosque in Saudi Arabia and saw videos of Afghan refugees.[8] According to the 2006 memo he had previously traveled to the Pakistan border with Afghanistan to observe the work in a refugee camp near Chaman, Pakistan.

The 2006 memo was more specific about his assistance to potential fighters, stating: "The detainee met with a group of extremists in Mashad, Iran following the 11 September 2001 attacks and briefed them on entry procedures into Afghanistan via the Al-Tayyibat crossing.[8]

The 2006 memo was also more specific about where he crossed—near Spin Buldak: "The detainee traveled with an Afghan driver, another Saudi man who worked with the Red Crescent, and a member from the Saudi embassy in Pakistan, in a vehicle taking supplies to a camp in Afghanistan.[8] The camp was about 5 kilometers from the border between Spin Buldak Afghanistan and Quetta, Pakistan.

The 2006 memo stated one of his aliases: "was among 100 names taken from Afghanistan-based military training cmap applications located at an Arab office in Kandahar".[8]

The 2006 memo quoted the individual who claimed Al Shihri had "instigated" him to assassinate a writer, based on Al-Uqqla's fatwa. According to this version Al Shihri was not wounded, he had successfully fled Afghanistan, through Iran, to Kuwait. The 2006 memo also stated he was taken to a hospital run by the Red Crescent society in Pakistan, and that he was arrested in the hospital.[8]

2007 Summary of Evidence memo

The three page Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2007 annual annual review listed just eleven "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and six "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".[10] No new allegations were added.

On January 9, 2009, the Department of Defense published two heavily redacted memos, from Al-Shihri's Board, to Gordon England, the Designated Civilian Official.[11][12] The Board's recommendation was unanimous The Board's recommendation was redacted. England decision, made on July 23, 2007, was also redacted.

Guantanamo medical records

On March 16, 2007 the Department of Defense published records of the captives' height and weights.[13]

Al Shihri's height was reported as 62 inches tall.[5] His weight was recorded 46 times between his arrival on January 21, 2002, when he weighed 138 pounds, and November 19, 2006, when he weighed 171 pounds.

Repatriation

On November 25, 2008, the Department of Defense released a list of the dates captives departed from Guantanamo.[14] According to that list he was repatriated to Saudi custody on November 9, 2007, with thirteen other men. The records published from the captives' annual Administrative Reviews show his repatriation was the subject of formal internal review procedures in 2005, 2006 and 2007.[15][16][17] But the Board's recommendations from the 2007 review—the only one to be published—were redacted. The conclusion the Designated Civilian Official authorized was also redacted.

At least ten other men in his release group were not repatriated through the formal review procedure.[15][16][17]

Peter Taylor writing for the BBC News called the Saudis repatriated on November 9, 2007 with al-Shihri, "batch 10".[18] He wrote that the BBC's research had found this batch to be a problematic cohort, and that four other men from this batch were named on the Saudi most wanted list.

Post-release

After Sa'id's repatriation to Saudi custody he went through a Saudi rehabilitation and reintegration program for former jihadists.[3][19][20] This program was partially sponsored by the United States.

In January 2009, after Sa'id's release from the Saudi rehabilitation program he appeared in several jihadist videos, including one where he was identified as second in command of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.[3] He appeared in a threatening YouTube video with three other men, identified as Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, Abu Baseer al-Wahayshi and Abu Hureira Qasm al-Rimi.[21]

The New York Times, quoting American diplomats in Sana, reported that a car bomb that detonated outside their Embassy in Sana was the work of Al-Shihri.[3][22]

On January 26, 2009. the Saudi Gazette published a report based on interviews with Al Shihri's father, and current wife.[23] Jaber Aal Khath’am Al-Shihri said his son had spent Ramadan with his family.[24] The elder Al Shihri said his son was a primary-school dropout, that he had been married twice, and had a young daughter. He said that his son had been troubled by memories of his detention, where his son told him "he thought about death all the time." He said that, after his release, his son had hoped to find a job as an imam. He said that he had added an addition to his family home for his son and his family to live in. However, after Ramadan, his son left his pregnant wife and child with his in-laws, and disappeared.

The Saudi Gazette reported that his wife confirmed his father's account.[23] She told the Gazette he had been acting normally, prior to his disappearance. “He used to smile and laugh and was generally happy.” She described the 3000 Saudi Riyal monthly stipend he received from the Saudi government, following his release, as “an honor.”

She told the Gazette that her husband's sister had phoned her, after his disappearance, and told her he had requested she get a cell phone, so he could talk to her, but then he had not phoned.[23]

The Saudi Gazette reported that one of Al Shihri's brothers-in-law, Yusuf Al-Shihri, was also a former Guantanamo captive.[23]

While Al Shihri's wife had told the Saudi Gazette she suspected nothing, his father said visits from other former captives disturbed him, and he attributed his son's defection to their influence. He said that he regretted his son had not died from the wounds he suffered in Afghanistan.[23]

“I say it loud and clear that my son is a deviant member of society who must be removed. He was not upright like the rest of the Gitmo returnees who benefited from the lessons of the past and showed their gratefulness for the assistance they were provided.”[23]

Muhammad Al-Oufi's mother told the Saudi Gazette that her son's radicalization was due to Sa'id's influence.[25]

Called upon Somali pirates to "increase your attacks upon Crusaders"

On April 16, 2009, CBS News reported on a message Al Shihri issued to Somali pirates.[26]

"To our steadfast brethren in Somalia, take caution and prepare yourselves. Increase your strikes against the crusaders at sea and in Djibouti."

CBS reported that there had been little concrete sign of a collaboration between Al Qaeda and the Somali pirates, but that the message also promised Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri and Mullah Omar that al-Shihri's group would be opening a new front in the Arabian Peninsula.[26]

Listed as a former captive who "re-engaged in terrorism"

On May 27, 2009, the Defense Intelligence Agency published a "fact sheet" listing captives who "re-engaged in terrorism".[27] The fact sheet listed al Awfi and Al Shihri.

Linked to the murder of Christian missionaries in Yemen

Fox News quoting Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, linked Said Ali Al Shihri to the kidnapping and murder of Christian missionaries Rita Stumpp, Anita Gruenwald Eom Young-sun, and the kidnapping of six other Christian medical missionaries.[28]

“If he believed that these people picnicking in Yemen were aiding in the war against Islam, then he can justify these killings as legitimate — it’s this kind of perspective that this guy holds to, that it’s right to kill people who would normally be considered off-limits.”[28]

Fox News also quoted Gregory Johnsen, editor of "Islam and Insurgency in Yemen"[28]:

“The most likely scenario is that Al Qaeda’s responsible. And if it does turn out that Al Qaeda is responsible, then it would be that al-Shihri had a hand in the operation whether behind the scenes or up front.”[28]

While Fox News acknowledged no group had taken responsibility for the murders it speculated that the possible involvement of Al-Shihri, a graduate of the Saudi jihadist rehabilitation program, would complicate United States President Barack Obama's plans to close Guantanamo.[28]

Released a video requesting donations

On September 30, 2009 the Middle East Media Resources Institute reported that Said Al Shiri had released a video requesting donations.[29] Said's father, and Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, Assistant Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs, spoke out against his funding efforts.[30]

Reported killed in an air strike

On December 24, 2009 ABC News reported an air strike in Yemen killed senior members of al Qaida.[31] They reported the dead may include Nasser al-Wahayshi, al-Shihri, and Anwar al-Awlaki.

Reported to be in Yemeni custody

On January 19, 2010, Yemen security authorities reported they had captured al-Shiri.[32] He was reported to have tried to evade a newly established roadblock, and to have been apprehended, with another man, after they were injured when their speeding vehicle flipped over.

Release of an audio recording in February 2010

The Yemen Post reported that al Shihri released an audio recording made after the reports of his death and capture.[6] They speculated that the audio tape indicated that the reports that the leader of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al Wahayshi, was killed in the December 24, 2009 attack. Al Shihri's audio took credit for Nigerian Umar Umar Farouk Abdulmutalib's attempted airliner bombing. He threatened that the group had scheduled operation to "control Bab Al-Mandab strait". The Yemen Post also reported that al Shihri claimed the USA was planning to insert US troops into Yemen to directly attack his group.

The arrest of 100 suspect followers announced in March 2010

On March 25, 2010, Saudi officials announced that they had arrested 100 suspected followers of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.[33] Judith Miller, formerly of The New York Times, reporting for Fox News, wrote that the captured men were reported to be "exchanging coded e-mails", with al-Shiri.[not in citation given]

Named in a custody dispute

In August 2009, the first husband of al-Shihri's wife Umm Hajir Al-Azdi, named Saoud Aal Shaye’ al-Qahtani, launched a Child custody claim, noting that his former wife was a believer in the practice of takfir (declaring others apostates from Islam), and had taken their 11-year old son to Yemen with al-Shihri in May 2009.[34] al-Qahtani provided evidence of her inability to raise his son, noting that she was married to al-Shihri, her younger brother had also been imprisoned at Guantanamo, three of her brothers were allegedly "militant jihadists", and her second husband had been killed by Saudi security forces in 2004.[34]

References

  1. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Report: Ex-Gitmo detainee joins al-Qaida in Yemen". Associated Press. 2009-01-23. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/01/23/news/ML-Yemen-Al-Qaida.php. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Worth, Robert F. (2009-01-22). "Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/world/middleeast/23yemen.html?hp. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  4. JTF-GTMO (2006-03-16). "Heights, weights, and in-processing dates". Department of Defense. http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu/reports/heights-weights-and-in-processing-dates. Retrieved 2008-12-25.  mirror
  5. 5.0 5.1 JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: ISNs 323-494". Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/measurements/ISN_323-ISN_494.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-22.  mirror
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Saeed Al-Shihri, prisoner No. 327 at Guantanamo bay: No. 2 of Al-Qaeda Organization…Guantanamo: creating the most dangerous enemies of America". Yemen Post. 2010-02-22. Archived from the original on 2010-02-22. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyemenpost.net%2FDetail123456789.aspx%3FID%3D3%26SubID%3D1900%26MainCat%3D6&date=2010-02-22. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 OARDEC (2005-06-16). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Sa'id Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri". United States Department of Defense. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/372-said-ali-al-shihri/documents/1/pages/411#3. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 OARDEC (2006-03-31). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Al Shihri, Sa'id Ali Jabir Al Khathim". United States Department of Defense. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/372-said-ali-al-shihri/documents/3/pages/538#6. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 OARDEC (2004-12-01). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Al Shihri, Sa'id Ali Jabir Al Khathim". United States Department of Defense. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/372-said-ali-jabir-al-khathim-al-shihri#1. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 OARDEC (2007-06-05). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Said Ali Shari". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 16–18. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/08-F-0481_FactorsDocsBates300-401.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  11. OARDEC (2007-07-06). "Administrative Review Board assessment and recommendation ICO ISN 372". United States Department of Defense. pp. page 116. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/08-F-0481_ARB3DecisionMemos2386-2953.pdf#116. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  12. OARDEC (2007-06-13). "Classified Record of Proceedings and basis of Administrative Review Board recommendation for ISN 372". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 117–124. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/08-F-0481_ARB3DecisionMemos2386-2953.pdf#117. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  13. JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/measurements/. Retrieved 2008-12-22.  mirror
  14. OARDEC (2008-10-09). "Consolidated chronological listing of GTMO detainees released, transferred or deceased". Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/09-F-0031_doc1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 OARDEC (July 17, 2007). "Index to Transfer and Release Decision for Guantanamo Detainees". United States Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/index_transfer_release_decision_ARB_Round_1.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 OARDEC (August 10, 2007). Index "Index of Transfer and Release Decision for Guantanamo Detainees from ARB Round Two". United States Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/index_ARB_Round_2_Decision_Memos.pdf Index. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Index to Summaries of Detention-Release Factors for Administrative Review Boards (Round 3) Held at Guantanamo". United States Department of Defense. 2009-01-09. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB3FactorIndex8Jan09.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  18. Peter Taylor (2010-01-13). "Yemen al-Qaeda link to Guantanamo Bay prison". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2010-01-15. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbc.co.uk%2F2%2Fhi%2Fprogrammes%2Fnewsnight%2F8454804.stm&date=2010-01-15. 
  19. Bobby Ghosh (2009-01-27). "Can Jihadis Be Rehabilitated?". Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1874278,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  20. Andrew O. Selsky (2009-01-27). "U.S. Defends Transfers as Ex-Detainees Vow Terror". Washington Post. p. A08. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012602151.html. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  21. "Two ex-Guantanamo inmates appear in Al-Qaeda video". Agence France Presse. 2009-01-25. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hZfIcWnHqBz4kQR90lC_pXaHeW4Q. Retrieved 2009-01-26.  mirror
  22. Souad Mekhennet (2009-06-15). "At Least 3 Hostages Reported Slain in Yemen". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/world/africa/16yemen.html. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Abdullah Al-Oraifij (2009-01-26). "Shihri’s father damns him for returning to Al-Qaeda". Saudi Gazette. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009012627660. Retrieved 2009-01-26.  mirror
  24. Ramadan fell in October this year.
  25. Abdullah Al-Oraifij, Khaled Al-Shalahi (2009-01-28). "Al-Oufi, Al-Shihri betrayed our trust: Families, friends". Saudi Gazette. http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009012927911. Retrieved 2009-01-29.  mirror
  26. 26.0 26.1 Khaled Waseef (2009-04-16). "Al Qaeda Urges Somalis To Attack Ships". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fblogs%2F2009%2F04%2F16%2Fworld%2Fworldwatch%2Fentry4949488.shtml&date=2009-04-20. 
  27. "Fact sheet: Former Guantanamo detainee terrorism trends". Defense Intelligence Agency. 2009-04-07. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.miamiherald.com%2Fsmedia%2F2009%2F05%2F27%2F20%2Frecidivists.source.prod_affiliate.56.pdf&date=2009-05-29. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Jana Winter (2009-06-20). "Slaughter of Foreigners in Yemen Bears Mark of Former Gitmo Detainee, Say Experts". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,527868,00.html?mrp. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  29. "Al-Qaeda Commander and Former Guantanamo Detainee Sa'id Al-Shihri Shows Up in Cellphone Video Fundraising Appeal". Middle East Media Resources Institute. 2009-09-30. Archived from the original on 2009-09-30. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thememriblog.org%2Fblog_personal%2Fen%2F20446.htm&date=2009-09-30. 
  30. Abdullah Al-Oraifij (2009-10-22). "My son called me infidel: Al-Shehri’s father". Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on 2009-10-23. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saudigazette.com.sa%2Findex.cfm%3Fmethod%3Dhome.regcon%26contentID%3D2009101951968&date=2009-10-23. 
  31. Jake Tapper (2009-12-24). "Sources: Air Strike in Yemen May Have Killed Imam Who Inspired Fort Hood Shooter, Two Top Al Qaeda Officials". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2009-12-24. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.abcnews.com%2Fpoliticalpunch%2F2009%2F12%2Fsources-air-strike-in-yemen-may-have-killed-imam-who-inspired-fort-hood-shooter-two-top-al-qaeda-officials.html&date=2009-12-24. 
  32. Patrick Goodenough (2010-01-19). "Yemen Claims to Have Top Terrorist in Custody". Cybercast News Service. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnsnews.com%2Fnews%2Farticle%2F60012&date=2010-01-23. 
  33. Judith Miller (2010-03-25). "Suspects in Plot on Saudi Sites Took Orders From Al Qaeda in Yemen, Official Says". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/03/25/suspects-plot-saudi-sites-took-orders-al-qaeda-official-says/. Retrieved 2010-03-29. "Al-Turki did not dispute press reports indicating that members of the two suicide cells had been exchanging coded e-mails about the planned strikes with a man in Yemen whom the accounts called “Abu Hajer.” One Saudi official said “Abu Hajer,” which in Arabic means “father of Hajer,” is believed to be a nom de guerre for Said Al Shihri, a Saudi leader of AQAP." 
  34. 34.0 34.1 Na’eem Al-Hakeem (2009-08-02). "Man wants son back from ‘takfeeri’ mother". Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saudigazette.com.sa%2Findex.cfm%3Fmethod%3Dhome.regcon%26contentID%3D2009072244380&date=2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02.