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Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif
Citizenship Yemen

Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif is a citizen of Yemen held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo detainee ID number is 259. American intelligence analysts estimate that Hintif was born in 1969, in Al Youf, Yemen.

Background

Hintif described himself as a farmer, who decided to serve a stint as a charity worker, as a memorial for his deceased father.[2] He asserted he worked for the Red Crescent, the Islamic sibling organization to the International Committee of the Red Cross. He asserted he “did not receive any training in Afghanistan” and “did not fight in Afghanistan because he was not convinced of the causes that were being fought for.”

One of the allegations used to justify his detention was his ownership of a Casio f91w digital watch -- the same digital watch that jihadists had been trained to use as the timer, when building time bombs.

He was cleared for release from Guantanamo in 2007.[2][3]

He described fleeing the conflict as the US invaded Afghanistan, and surrendering himself to Pakistani authorities when he crossed the border.[2] He described being held in a Pakistani prison in Kohat, before he was turned over the Americans. Historian Andy Worthington wrote:

Disturbingly, apart from vague allegations about the guest houses in which he stayed, the only allegations that the US authorities have been able to come up with are that his name was on a document “recovered from a safe house raid associated with al-Qaeda in Karachi, Pakistan” (which is not necessarily reliable, as it may not have been his name, but a kunya or alias that does not necessarily refer to him) and a much-derided claim that his Casio watch was the same model as one used in improvised explosive devices “in bombings linked to al-Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorist groups.”[2]

On June 20, 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that the Guantanamo captives were entitled to submit habeas corpus petitions through the United States civilian justice system.[2] His petition was denied on August 1, 2011.

Status reviews

Hintif's status was reviewed by multiple agencies.

Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants

Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror.[4] 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.

In 2004 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the President did not have the constitutional authority to hold individuals indefinitely without giving them an opportunity to learn and try to refute the allegations used to justify their detention. The Supreme Court recommended the Department of Defense set up Tribunals to review the combatant status of all the remaining Guantanamo captives, modeled after the tribunals described in army regulation 190-8.

Hintif had four of these reviews, in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. The heavily redacted decision memos from his 2007 review recommended he should be released.

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.

Hintif faced six unclassified allegations offered to justify his continued detention in 2004.[5]

The Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2005 review was four pages long.[6] In it he faced 22 “primary factors [that] favor continued detention” and 7 “primary factors [that] favor release or transfer” The Department of Defense published a 3 page summarized transcript from his 2005 hearing, which states that although, in the end, he did not attend the hearing, he had said he planned to attend.[6]

The Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2006 review was four pages long.[7] In it he faced 26 “primary factors [that] favor continued detention” and 10 “primary factors [that] favor release or transfer”

The Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his 2007 review was three pages long.[8] In it he faced 14 “primary factors [that] favor continued detention” and 6 “primary factors [that] favor release or transfer”

Benjamin Wittes, a scholar at the Brookings Institute, analyzed the justification for detention of all the remaining Guantanamo captives in December 2008.[9] In the analysis Wittes and colleagues compiled lists of captives who faced common allegations. They placed him on the following lists:

  1. ″59 detainees [who were alleged to have] associated with both al Qaeda and the Taliban"[9]
  2. "81 detainees [who were alleged to have] traveled to Afghanistan for jihad"[9]
  3. "130 [who were alleged to have] stayed in al Qaeda, Taliban, or other guest- or safehouses"[9]
  4. "169 [who allegedly] took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan"
  5. "71 detainees' names or aliases were [who were allegedly] found on computers, hard drives, physical lists of al Qaeda operatives, or other material seized in raids on al Qaeda safehouses and facilities".[9]
  6. "93 [who were alleged to have been] members of a foreign fighters group"[9]
  7. "An additional 82 detainees made no statement to CSRT or ARB tribunals or made statements that do not bear materially on the military's allegations against them″[9]

Habeas Corpus petition

Hintif had a habeas corpus petition filed on his behalf. For various reasons the [[Guantanamo captives' habeas corpus petitions are taking many years to resolve. United States District Court Henry H. Kennedy turned down his petition in 2011.[10] Kennedy made his ruling on August 1, 2011, but the unclassified version of the ruling wasn't published until September 16, 2011.[11] Benjamin Wittes, a national security scholar at the Brookings Institute, who has written extensively on Guantanamo, promised an analysis of the ruling, as soon as he had an opportunity to review it.[12][13] Wittes wrote on September 23, 2011, that the ruling was so heavily redacted that its meaning was largely obscure.

It’s the case of another Yemeni said to have gone to Afghanistan for jihad, hung out in guesthouses and been caught with bad guys—and with the wrong kind of watch. Judge Kennedy was clearly persuaded that the evidence of these claims was adequate, under D.C. Circuit law, to affirm the detention.

US District Court Judges who ruled on the earlier habeas corpus petitions were ruling in favor of the captives.[10] However, when the Department of Justice appealed those rulings to the Washington DC Circuit Court of Appeals the appeals court ruled in every case that the lower courts had erred in not giving the allegations offered by the executive branch ′′“the presumption of regularity”′′. The appeals courts′ rulings were regarded as admonishments to the lower court for trying to independently assess the credibility of the Government′s justification for continued detention.

Formerly secret JTF-GTMO assessment

In April 2011 whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments, signed by Guantanamo camp commandants, for almost all the Guantanamo captives.[3][14] Historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, noted that he was cleared for release both by his annual status review from the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants and in an assessment from Harry Harris, Guantanamo's camp commandant.[2]

Obama administration Joint agency reviews

On January 22, 2009, shortly after he took office, President Barack Obama set up a new review process, to replace the earlier OARDEC reviews.[15] The review task force had representatives from multiple agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, State Department. It was known that this joint task force had recommended approximately one third of the captives should be released, but until September 23rd, 2012, it was not known whether they had echoed the 2007 recommendations that Hintif should be released.

Historian Andy Worthington published a list of 40 captives his research had lead him to believe had been cleared for release. The list included Hintif.

One September 23, 2012 Department of Justice officials surprised human rights workers by publishing a list of 55 of the remaining 56 captives who had been cleared for release, confirmed that Hintif had been cleared for release.

References

  1. OARDEC (2006-05-15). "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 2007-09-29. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Andy Worthington (2010-09-26). "Seized In Pakistan: The Remaining Guantanamo Prisoners". The Public Record. http://pubrecord.org/law/8311/seized-pakistan-remaining-guantanamo/. Retrieved 2012-06-22. "Throughout his whole story, Hintif maintained that he “did not receive any training in Afghanistan” and “did not fight in Afghanistan because he was not convinced of the causes that were being fought for.”"  mirror
  3. 3.0 3.1 Andy Worthington (2012-06-06). "Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared for Release At Least Five Years Ago". http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2012/06/06/exclusive-guantanamo-scandal-the-40-prisoners-still-held-but-cleared-for-release-at-least-five-years-ago/. Retrieved 2012-06-15. "ISN 259 Fadil Hintif (Yemen) In the classified US military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners, which were released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, Hintif’s file was a “Recommendation for Transfer Out of DoD Control (TRO),” dated January 9, 2007."  mirror
  4. Andy Worthington (2011-11-29). "As Judges Kill Off Habeas Corpus For Guantánamo Prisoners, Will Supreme Court Act? – OpEd". Albany Tribune. http://www.albanytribune.com/29112011-as-judges-kill-off-habeas-corpus-for-guantanamo-prisoners-will-supreme-court-act-%E2%80%93-oped/. Retrieved 2012-06-15. "In this system, the US government decided that all its actions relating to terrorism and the perceived threat from al-Qaeda and the Taliban (essentially regarded as interchangeable with al-Qaeda because they had “hosted” Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan) constituted part of a “war on terror,” and decided that everyone seized could be held, without anyone bothering to ascertain whether they had been seized by mistake, as “illegal enemy combatants,” who literally had no rights whatsoever, either as human beings or as prisoners."  mirror
  5. "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal - HINTIF , Fadil Husayn Salih". OARDEC. 2004-10-25. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/259-fadil-husayn-salih-hintif/documents/5. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Hintif, Fadil Husayn Salih". OARDEC. 2005-05-25. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/259-fadil-husayn-salih-hintif/documents/1. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  7. "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Hintif, Fadil Husayn Salih". OARDEC. 2006-03-21. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/259-fadil-husayn-salih-hintif/documents/3. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  8. "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Hintif, Fadil Husayn Salih". OARDEC. 2007-04-21. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/259-fadil-husayn-salih-hintif/documents/9. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institute. pp. 9, 10, 12, 15, 16. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2008/12/16%20detainees%20wittes/1216_detainees_wittes.pdf. Retrieved 2010-02-16.  mirror
  10. 10.0 10.1 Andy Worthington (2012-11-29). "As Judges Kill Off Habeas Corpus For Guantánamo Prisoners, Will Supreme Court Act? – OpEd". Eurasia Review. http://www.eurasiareview.com/29112011-as-judges-kill-off-habeas-corpus-for-guantanamo-prisoners-will-supreme-court-act-oped/. Retrieved 2012-06-15. "The next prisoner to lose was Fadel Hentif (also identified as Fadil Hintif), a Yemeni whose habeas petition was refused by Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. on August 1, 2011, although a heavily redacted version of the opinion was not made available until mid-September (PDF)."  mirror
  11. Benjamin Wittes (2011-08-02). "A government habeas win". Lawfare. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawfareblog.com%2F2011%2F08%2Fa-government-habeas-win%2F&date=2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  12. Benjamin Wittes (2011-09-16). "Hentif Opinion Released". Lawfare. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawfareblog.com%2F2011%2F09%2Fhentif-opinion-released%2F&date=2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  13. Benjamin Wittes (2011-09-23). "Hentif Opinion [Redacted"]. Lawfare. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawfareblog.com%2F2011%2F09%2Fthoughts-on-hentif-redacted%2F&date=2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-06-22. "...unfortunately, I can’t offer any thoughts of consequence because the opinion is so heavily redacted that evaluation is not really possible. Not only are key facts, passages, and pages redacted throughout the opinion, but the final evaluation of the evidence itself is largely obscured." 
  14. Harry B. Harris Jr. (2007-01-09). "Recommendation for Transfer Out of DoD Control (TRO) for Guantanamo Detainee, ISN: US9YM-000259DP(S)". Joint Task Force Guantanamo. http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2011/04/28/06/us9ym-000255dp.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf. Retrieved 2012-06-15.  16x16px Media related to File:ISN 00259, Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif's Guantanamo detainee assessment.pdf at Wikimedia Commons
  15. Andy Worthington (2012-06-07). "Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared For Release At Least Five Years Ago". Eurasia Review. http://www.eurasiareview.com/07062012-guantanamo-scandal-the-40-prisoners-still-held-but-cleared-for-release-at-least-five-years-ago-oped/. Retrieved 2012-06-22. "In the classified US military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners, which were released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, Hintif’s file was a “Recommendation for Transfer Out of DoD Control (TRO),” dated January 9, 2007. A transfer recommendation was also made after his Administrative Review Board Round Three, on August 29, 2007"