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Ramzi bin al-Shibh

Nationality: Yemeni

Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni, has been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, attacking civilians and civilian objects, causing serious bodily injury, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property in violation of the laws of war, hijacking, terrorism and providing material support for terrorism. The government plans to try bin al-Shibh with four others, all of whom are alleged to have been directly involved in the planning and execution of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and is seeking the death penalty for all of them.

The US government claims that bin al-Shibh was chosen by bin Laden to be one of the participants in the 9/11 hijacking, but was unable to take part when his repeated requests for a US visa were denied.

Although bin al-Shibh was reportedly arrested and transferred to US custody in September 2002, he was not transferred to Guantanamo until four years later. In the interim he was reportedly interrogated and held incommunicado in secret CIA detention facilities, where he was effectively “disappeared.” A former Jordanian detainee claims that bin al-Shibh was initially rendered to Jordan, where he was badly tortured with electric shocks, long periods of sleep deprivation, forced nakedness and being made to sit on sticks and bottles (a form of sexual violence).

Bin al-Shibh’s lawyers are arguing that bin al-Shibh may be unfit to stand trial and have asked that the proceedings against him and his four co-accused beto stayed until his mental state is determined. They say he has been prescribed psychotropic drugs of the sort that are used to treat schizophrenia. Bin al-Shibh, who wants to represent himself before the military commission, claims that he is mentally fit.

Human Rights Watch Commentary:

Military Commissions Documents:

Ramzi Binalshibh © 2002 Reuters