Abdul Ahmad

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Abdul Ahmad is a citizen of Afghanistan who is still held in extrajudicial detention after being transferred from United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba — to U.S. supervised imprisonment in Afghanistan.[1][2]

Ahmad's Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 956. American intelligence analysts estimate that Ahmad was born in 1954, in Roy E Sang [sic], Afghanistan

He was captured in Afghanistan in March 2003 and transferred to an Afghan prison on September 28, 2007.[2][3]

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3 x 6 meter trailer.[4][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 tribunal 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.

Summary of Evidence memo

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

a. The detainee is a member of the Taliban:
  1. Beginning 1996, the Detainee served as a recruiter for the Taliban.
  2. At the time of his capture in March 2003, the Detainee was found to be in possession of a written directive from Taliban leadership to attack U.S. forces if they entered his territory.
b. The detainee engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or its coalition partners:
  1. The Detainee admits that attack upon U.S. forces in Madr Valley, Afghanistan, which occurred in November 2002, was in response to the above-referenced written directive.


Ahmad 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 six page summarized transcript from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[8]


Administrative Review Board hearing

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. 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.

Ahmad chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[9]

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.[10][11][12][13] The Board's recommendation was unanimous The Board's recommendation was redacted. England authorized his transfer on 27 December 2005.

Transfer to U.S. supervised imprisonment in Afghanistan

Alan Pfeuffer, a lawyer who volunteered to aid Ahmad with his writ of habeas corpus, was told on February 22, 2007, that Ahmad had been released.[14] On November 25, 2008 the Department of Defense published a list of when Guantanamo captives were repatriated.[15] According to that list he was actually repatriated on September 28, 2007.

Pfeuffer was appointed to aid Ahmad in October 2005, shortly before the passage of the Detainee Treatment Act.[14] In 2006 Pfeuffer was told that the passage of the Detainee Treatment Act restricted Guantanamo captives from launching new habeas corpus appeals. So Pfeuffer was prohibited from visiting, phoning or writing Ahmad. Pfeuffer did, however, make a visit to Afghanistan to interview witnesses who could corroborate his story and that of his other Afghan client Ahsanallah Pirzai.

Pfeuffer did find Afghans who knew Ahmad who confirmed that Ahmad was a schoolteacher, and that he had no ties to the Taliban.[14] He told The Columbus Dispatch that he had no idea whether his clients really had been released, or whether they were in an Afghan prison. He told the Dispatch he had no idea whether his clients had ever learned of the efforts he had made on their behalf.

As of March 18, 2008 the Washington Post list Ahmad as still in detention in Guantanamo.[16]

The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that all of the Afghans repatriated to Afghanistan from April 2007 were sent to Afghan custody in the American built and supervised wing of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul.[2]


  1. list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, May 15, 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "International Travel". Center for Constitutional Rights. 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2009. http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_Annual_Report_2008.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-13. "CCR attorney Pardiss Kebriaei traveled to Kabul to follow the situation of Guantánamo prisoners being returned to Afghanistan. Since April 2007, all such prisoners have been sent to a U.S.-built detention facility within the Soviet era Pule-charkhi prison located outside Kabul."  mirror
  3. "Abdul Ahmad - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/956-abdul-ahmad. 
  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. Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3902. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  6. OARDEC (2004-10-06). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Ahmed, Abdul". United States Department of Defense. p. page 88. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000600-000699.pdf#88. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  7. OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Statement". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 27–32. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_23_1742-1789.pdf#27. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  8. "US releases Guantanamo files". Melbourne: The Age. April 4, 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-11-25. http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/US-releases-Guantanamo-files/2006/04/04/1143916500334.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  9. Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Abdul Ahmad's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 30-41
  10. OARDEC (27 December 2005). "Administrative Review Board assessment and recommendation ICO ISN 956". United States Department of Defense. p. page 1. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000678-000765.pdf#1. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  11. OARDEC (27 December 2005). "Administrative Review Board assessment and recommendation ICO ISN 956". United States Department of Defense. p. page 95–96. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000583-000677.pdf#95. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  12. The Department of Defense published two separate versions of this memo.
  13. OARDEC (17 October 2005). "Classified Record of Proceedings and basis of Administrative Review Board recommendation for ISN 956". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 2–8. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000678-000765.pdf#2. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Kevin Mayhood (May 30, 2007). "Lawyer's defense of terror suspects an endurance test". The Columbus Dispatch. http://www.columbusdispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2007/05/30/secured.ART_ART_05-30-07_A1_CK6S2EM.html. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  15. OARDEC (2008-10-09). "Consolidated chronological listing of GTMO detainees released, transferred or deceased". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/09-F-0031_doc1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  16. "Names of the Detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Washington Post. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/guantanamo/#afghanistan. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 

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