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|Three Kazakhs Released From Guantanamo Prison|
The Associated Press
Published: December 26, 2006 (Issue # 1233)
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Three Kazakhs released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay have returned home, an official said Thursday.
The three men were among 18 Guantanamo detainees repatriated by the U.S. military over the weekend to Afghanistan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Libya and Bangladesh, the Pentagon said.
The three Kazakhs arrived in their homeland Saturday and were met by relatives who took them home, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said.
Omarov said the three would not face investigation and charges "because their release means that they had been cleared of all suspicions of having terror links.” He gave no further details.
Omarov said the Kazakh government was working on the release of the fourth and last Kazakh citizen who has been held at Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led anti-terror operations there.
About 50 percent of Kazakhstan’s population are Muslims. Unlike its Central Asian neighbors, which are poorer and have predominantly Muslim populations, Kazakhstan has been little affected by a rise of radical Islam in the region since the 1991 Soviet collapse.
Three other ex-Soviet Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, border Afghanistan.
The region’s most radical Islamic group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, was linked to al-Qaida and had training camps in Afghanistan. The IMU is believed to have been broken as an organized force during U.S.-led coalition bombings of Afghanistan in 2001.
Among 759 people who have been held over the years at Guantanamo, there also were 12 Tajiks and seven Uzbeks, according to U.S. Defense Department documents.
Kazakhstani detainees at Guantanamo Bay
Ambassador Ordway's 22 May 2007 press briefing
American ambassador John M. Ordway addressed the Kazakhstani detainees in Guantanamo during a May 22, 2007 press briefing at the Kazakhstani Press Club. Ordway confirmed that one detainee the USA considered a citizen of Kazakhstan remained in Guantanamo. He stated that it was against US policy to compensate former detainees. He asserted detainees were not detained any longer than necessary for US national security.
What can you tell us about the fourth Kazakhstani still detained at the Guantanamo facility. Will the United State pay compensation if it turns out he violated no laws and was detained without cause?
With regard to the issue of compensation, we do not pay compensation for any of the enemy combatants who were in the Guantanamo facility.
With regard to the Kazakhstani citizen who is still there, as was the case before, I can’t provide any details other than to say that we have been and will continue to be in discussion with the government of Kazakhstan about any possible release or return of their citizens.
There are many of these people, the reason they are released is because we do not have any particular charges. They were enemy combatants who were found in Afghanistan in circumstances that they were fighting with or participating with forces that were fighting U.S. forces and therefore were captured as enemy combatants. There was then a process to determine whether they represented any future threat. If not, as was the case with the three who were released, they are then released.
We also had a very extensive process to determine when there was no longer any reason to hold those people because they represented no further threat. That is exactly what happened with the three who were released and returned to Kazakhstan. They were no further threat.
On 31 October 2008 the Department of Defense announced two detainees were repatriated to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The DoD withheld the two men's names.
Abdallah Tohtasinovich Magrupov
1.1 Summary of Evidence memo
1.3 Administrative Review Board
1.4 Summary of Evidence memo
1.5 Board recommendations
4 External links
Combatant Status Review Tribunal
Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a trailer the size of a large RV. The captive sat on a plastic garden chair, with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor. Three chairs were reserved for members of the press, but only 37 of the 574 Tribunals were observed.
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 tribunals 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 Abdullah Tohtasinovich Magrupov's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on 22 December 2004. The memo listed the following allegations against him:a. The detainee is associated with the Taliban or al Qaida.
The detainee traveled from Semey, Kazakhstan, to Islamabad, Pakistan, in August 2001.
The detainee stayed at various madrassas during his travels around Pakistan.
The detainee admitted that he stayed at a house in Kabul, Afghanistan, that was owned by the Taliban.
The detainee stayed with two individuals in Kabul, Afghanistan, who worked as cooks for the Taliban.
The detainee, as well as those he was arrested with, had a cover story regarding their recruitment at a mosque in Kazakhstan.
The detainee was in Afghanistan when the United States bombing campaign began.
The detainee was captured by the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (UIFSA) and turned over to U.S. custody in December 2001.
Magrupov chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal. On March 3, 2006, in response to a court order from Jed Rakoff the Department of Defense published a five page summarized transcript from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.
Administrative Review Board
Detainees whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal labeled them "enemy combatants" were scheduled for annual Administrative Review Board hearings. These hearings were designed to assess the threat a detainee may pose if released or transferred, and whether there are other factors that warrant his continued detention.
Summary of Evidence memo
A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdullah Tohtasinovich Magrupov's Administrative Review Board, on 14 September 2005. The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.
The following primary factors favor continued detentiona. Commitment
While attending the central mosque in Almaty the detainee met an individual named Nidzhan who suggested he should attend a madrassa in Pakistan. When the detainee decided to go to Pakistan, Nidzhan helped him with the arrangements.
The detainee stated that in August 2001, he left Almaty for Bishkek and from Bishkek he flew to Islamabad, Pakistan to study.
The detainee tried to enroll at the Faisal Mesjitt Islamic School but was told the classes were full.
After spending some time in Islamabad at a madrassa, the detainee traveled to Karachi, Pakistan, and then back to Islamabad. He stayed at various madrassas in Pakistan.
Many madrassas are popping up all over Pakistan and becoming training grounds for extremists. The detainee belongs to the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Party/Movement (ETIP/ETIM).
The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a small Islamic extremist group, is one of the most militant of the ethnic Uighur [sic] separatist groups pursuing an independent "Eastern Turkistan".
The U.S. has acknowledged that some Uighurs have been found fighting with al Qaida in Afghanistan.
The detainee clarified that he lived in Kazil Shariq village, Kazakh region, Imbekchi, Altma Province, and admitted that Farkat Yuspov lived there and he knew him.
The detainee said he did not know if Yuspov was affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
Reporting indicates Yuspove was a senior member of the IMU who was responsible for recruiting and arranging travel for the detainee into Afghanistan.
c. Other Relevant Data
The detainee was told to give fake information in case people in Afghanistan planned to threaten their families in Kazakhstan to ensure cooperation.
The detainee claimed his sole tie with the Taliban was having stayed in a house in Kabul owned by the Taliban.
The following primary factors favor release or transfera. The detainee denied any involvement with the Taliban or al Qaida. He also denied that he was somehow recruited as part of the jihad.
b. The detainee stated that while in Afghanistan, he did not partake in any military activities, and he never committed any crime.
In early September 2007 the Department of Defense released two heavily redacted memos, from his Board, to Gordon England, the Designated Civilian Official. The Board's recommendation was unanimous The Board's recommendation was redacted. England authorized his transfer on 17 December 2005.
Although his Assisting Military Officer reported to his Board on the pre-hearing interview with 528, and on the notes compiled from that meeting on the Enemy Combatant election form, during the unclassified session of the hearing, the Department of Defense has not released a transcript of the unclassified session.
Unredacted passages from his memos stated:"(U) The EC was captured in connection with the conduct of combat or terrorist operations against the United States and its allies."
"(U) Individual affiliations. The EC is known to have affiliations with individuals who themselves plan, or are members of organizations that plan, to carry out acts of terrorism or violence against the United States and its allies.
The Associated Press reports that three of the four Kazakh detainees in Guantanamo were repatriated and set free. According to the Herald Magrupov, Ihlkham Battayev and Yakub Abahanov were the three released men.
Abdullah Magrupov (ISN 528, Kazakhstan) Released December 2006
Freelance investigative journalist Andy Worthington continues his 70-part, million-word series telling, for the first time, the stories of 776 of the 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo since the prison opened on January 11, 2002. Adding information released by WikiLeaks in April 2011 to the existing documentation about the prisoners, much of which was already covered in Andy’s book The Guantánamo Files and in the archive of articles on his website, the project will be completed in time for the 10th anniversary of the prison’s opening on January 11, 2012.
This is Part 27 of the 70-part series. 337 stories have now been told.
In Chapter 10 of The Guantánamo Files, I explained how Magrupov, who was 18 years old at the time of his capture, was one of three Kazakhs from the same village, who were were captured in Kabul in December 2001 — Yakub Abahanov (ISN 526, see above), and Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev (ISN 521, released in November 2008). According to the US authorities, he was held because, although there was no evidence that he had done anything, he was captured in a Taliban house with two individuals who "worked as cooks for the Taliban.” In his tribunal, he explained that he had only been at the house for five days, after studying at a madrassa in Karachi, when he and the others were captured by a Northern Alliance commander, who held them in "some kind of huge container” and "a place like a barn,” before transferring them to US custody.
In the documents released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, the file relating to Magrupov was an "Update Recommendation [for] Transfer to the Control of Another Country for Continued Detention (TRCD),” dated June 17, 2005, in which he was identified as Abdullah Makrubov and Shukrat Tokhtasunovich Arupov, born in May 1983, and it was noted that he was "in good health.”
In telling his story, the Task Force noted that, after leaving school, he "worked as a farmer in an orchard,” and then, in August 2001, traveled to Pakistan, where he attended madrassas in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore for several months. With Yakub Abahanov and Abahanov’s two brothers, he then traveled to Kabul "to visit a state that practiced Islamic law.” However, within a week of their arrival, he said, the US bombing of Kabul began, and "[s]everal unidentified people came to the house and offered to help them.” Magrupov said that they "packed all of their belongings into a truck and fled,” but that he and his friends "were taken in a separate vehicle” to "an unknown location and kept in a basement for approximately 10 days.”
He added that, on December 10, 2001, "Afghan Military Forces commander Tufal [assessed to be Commander Zalmai Topan] "captured them in Kabul” and took them "to a container with 2 other Arabs (one of them named Abdullah),” where they were held for eight days until Tufal [Topan] turned them over to US forces on 2 February 2002.” He was sent to Guantánamo on June 19, 2002, on the spurious basis that it was to "provide information on the following: Recruitment practices in Semey, Kazakhstan, Madrassas he visited in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan [and] Traveling companions (current detainees at JTF GTMO).”
In assessing Magrupov’s story, which was very different from the one told by Abahanov, the Task Force noted that he was "assessed to be a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU),” even though he had just turned 18 when he arrived in Afghanistan, and claimed that Commander Topan had captured the three Kazakhs "and five other suspected Al-Qaida members,” the inference being that they had been seized together, although this does not appear to have been the case. The other five were a Saudi, a Kuwaiti, and three Pakistanis. According to the Task Force, the Saudi was a 28-year old named Mohammad Abdullah, who "offered his captors USD $1,000,000 for his freedom and transport to Pakistan,” and told them "he could arrange for the money [to be sent] via a contact in Riyadh,” the Kuwaiti was a 27-year old named Abdullah Ali Abu-Salem, and the three Pakistanis were Patshah Douai Khan, a 30 year old, Mohammad Anwar and Israr al-Haq. To the best of my knowledge, only the last two ended up in Guantánamo — Mohammed Anwar (ISN 524) was released in September 2004, and Israr al-Haq (ISN 515, also identified as Israr Ul-Haq) was released in March 2004.
It was also claimed, as it had not been in Abahanov’s file, that the three Kazakhs were "part of an Islamic Jihadist Group terrorist cell originating from Kazakhstan,” and that "when the group split, one half stayed in Kazakhstan to continue their terrorist activities,” while "the other half” — allegedly Magrupov and his companions — "traveled to Afghanistan, joined the IMU and trained to be terrorists.” It is not known whether there was any truth to this claim or, indeed, whether there was any truth to a claim that Abahanov had stated that Magrupov was the nephew of Furkat Yusupov, a member of the IMU who reportedly recruited the three Kazakhs, and who was arrested in Uzbekistan in March 2004, apparently in possession of ten home-made bombs, and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
In conclusion, the Task Force assessed Magrupov as being "of medium intelligence value,” and of posing "a medium risk, as he may pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.” It was also noted that his "overall behaviour pattern ha[d] been compliant and non-hostile in nature,” and that he had "a relatively low amount of reports with the majority being leading prayer or physical training and martial arts.” As a result, Maj. Gen. Hood, updating a recommendation that he be transferred to another country for continued detention (dated August 9, 2003), recommended him — again — for transfer to continued detention in another country, noting that he was "assessed as a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is associated to [sic] Al-Qaida Associated Movements (AQAM),” although he was not released for another 18 months.
On his return, with Ilkham Batayev (ISN 84, see Part One of this series) and Yakub Abahanov, all three men "were met by relatives who took them home, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said,” as reported by the St. Petersburg Times. Omarov "said the three would not face investigation and charges ‘because their release means that they had been cleared of all suspicions of having terror links.’” which rather undermines the accumulation of colorful claims against them in Guantánamo.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev (Kazakh: Абдулрахим Керімбақиев) is a citizen of Kazakhstan held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 521. The Department of Defense reports that Kerimbakiev was born on January 4, 1983 in Semei, Kazakhstan.
Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev was repatriated around 4 November 2008. Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, quoting his lawyer Robert Weiner, reported he "is safe with his family."
Ilkham Turdbyavich Batayev
Ilkham Batayev (ISN 84, Kazakhstan) Released December 2006
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