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Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleima
Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleima
Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleima
A low-resolution photo of Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman is a 41- or 42-year-old citizen of Yemen. As of January 2010, the Guantanamo Review Task Force had recommended him for transfer. He was transferred to Italy on July 10, 2016. | Photo: Department of Defense | Link | Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Zuleime, Al Quaida, Yemen, Terrorist, Prisoner, Guantanamo, Cuba,

The cost of Barack Obama's legacy

Barack Obama's executive orders continue to deform intelligent intentions into horrific decisions with potentially catastrophic results. Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman (Fayiz) was released from US custody today, where he was being held and interrogated within the confines of Geneva Convention-acceptable conditions. He was sent to Italy.

Fayiz was cleared for release in 2010 by Obama's executive order, but the US does not sent Yemeni prisoners to their homeland because of instability there and had to find another country to accept him for resettlement. (The US transferred two other Guantánamo detainees to Italy in November 2009.)

"The United States is very grateful to the government of Italy for its continued assistance in closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay," said Lee Wolosky, the US special envoy for Guantanamo closure.

Who is Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman?

A declassified Department of Defense report lists Fayiz as a member of al-Qaida who participated in combat action against US and Coalition forces as part of Usama Bin Laden’s (UBL) 55th Arab Brigade on the front lines in Afghanistan. Fayiz received basic militant training at al-Qaida’s al-Faruq Training Camp and advanced training in poisons at al-Qaida’s Tarnak Farm Training Camp. Fayiz is reported to be a veteran of the Bosnian Jihad and a close associate of former Bosnian commander and al-Qaida operative Abu Zubayr al-Haili. JTF- GTMO determined this detainee to be:

  • A HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies
  • A HIGH threat from a detention perspective
  • Of HIGH intelligence value

Fayiz was arrested by Pakistani police shortly after he crossed the border. The police took him with a group of five other Arabs to the prison at Kohat, PK where they remained for approximately two weeks. On December 30, 2001, Pakistani authorities transferred Fayiz to US custody and he was flown to Kandahar, AF.

Assessment: Fayiz is assessed to be a HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat
to the US, its interests, and allies.

Reasons for Continued Detention: Fayiz is a member of al-Qaida. Fayiz participated in combat action against US and Coalition forces as a member of UBL’s 55th Arab Brigade on the front lines at Taloqan and in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan. Fayiz received basic militant training and advanced training at al-Qaida supported training camps. Fayiz was a veteran of the Bosnian Jihad and a close associate of Abu Zubayr al-Haili, who was a Bosnian commander.

Intelligence Assessment: Fayiz’s placement on the front lines of Afghanistan provided him access to information and individuals associated with al-Qaida and Taliban fighters. If Fayiz attended poison training at Tarnak Farm, he probably had access to senior al-Qaida members and knowledge about the al-Qaida poisons program. Based upon his travels, Fayiz probably has additional information pertaining to al-Qaida guesthouses and safe houses, militant personnel, and escape routes in the Tora Bora region. Fayiz can identify other JTF-GTMO detainees he may have encountered at the al-Faruq and Tarnak Farm training camps, at al-Qaida guesthouses, or on the front lines at Taloqan and Tora Bora.

Areas of Potential Exploitation:
  • Tarnak Farm’s advanced poisons course, including trainers, trainees, and curriculum
  • UBL’s 55th Arab Brigade
    ○ Leadership
    ○ Other members, including JTF-GTMO detainees
    ○ Activities at Taloqan and Tora Bora
  • Bosnian Jihad
    ○ Fayiz’s association with Bosnian commander Abu Zubayr al-Haili
• Fayiz’s travels while in Afghanistan and Pakistan
    ○ Al-Qaida and Taliban guesthouses and safe houses
    ○ Activities around Tora Bora
  • Associated persons incarcerated with Fayiz prior to his transfer to US custody
  • Facilitators and recruitment for jihad
    ○ Qadri Ahmed
    ○ Ghufran
  • Support to terrorist organizations in Yemen
  • Terrorist recruitment of juveniles

(Download the declassified report, in it's entirety, here.)

Despite this wealth of information, and volumes not classified for public release, the Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Italy.

As directed by the Barack Obama's January 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Suleiman was unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.

In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States' intent to transfer this individual and of the secretary's determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard.

The United States is grateful to the Government of Italy for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Italy to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

Today, 78 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

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Updated Feb 1, 2018 7:50 AM EST | More details


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