The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as “ghost detainees” -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The list is compiled from media reports, public statements by government officials, and from other information obtained by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch does not consider this list to be complete: there are likely other “ghost detainees” held by the United States.Under international law, enforced disappearances occur when persons are deprived of their liberty, and the detaining authority refuses to disclose their fate or whereabouts, or refuses to acknowledge their detention, which places the detainees outside the protection of the law. International treaties ratified by the United States prohibit incommunicado detention of persons in secret locations.
Many of the detainees listed below are suspected of involvement in serious crimes, including the September 11, 2001 attacks; the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; and the 2002 bombing at two nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia. (One of the listed, No. 25, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was indicted in U.S. federal court for his role in the 1998 attacks.) Yet none on this list has been arraigned or criminally charged, and government officials, speaking anonymously to journalists, have suggested that some detainees have been tortured or seriously mistreated in custody.
The current location of these prisoners is unknown.
List, as of December 1, 2005:
1. Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi
Reportedly arrested on November 11, 2001, Pakistan.
Libyan, suspected commander at al-Qaeda training camp.
Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
2. Abu Faisal
Reportedly arrested on December 12, 2001
Nationality unknown. See next entry.
3. Abdul Aziz
Reportedly arrested on December 14, 2001
Nationality unknown. In early January 2001, Kenton Keith, a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, produced a chart with the names of senior al-Qaeda members listed as killed in action, detained, or on the run. Faisal and Aziz were listed as detained on Dec. 12 and 14, 2001. See: Andrea Stone, “Path to bin Laden may lie behind bars; US interrogates al-Qaeda, Taliban prisoners in hope of nailing down war on terror’s prime targets,” USA Today, January 8, 2002; Bradley Graham and Walter Pincus, “Al-Qaeda Trainer in U.S. Hands,” The Washington Post, January 5, 2002.
4. Abu Zubaydah (also known as Zain al-Abidin Muhahhad Husain)
Reportedly arrested in March 2002, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Palestinian (born in Saudi Arabia), suspected senior al-Qaeda operational planner. Listed as captured in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,”
available on the White House website. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
5. Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi (aka Riyadh the facilitator)
Reportedly arrested in January 2002
Possibly Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda member (possibly transferred to Guantanamo). Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch (see note 27).
6. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi
Reportedly arrested in January 2002
Nationality unknown, presumably Iraqi, suspected commander of al-Qaeda training camp. U.S. officials told Associated Press on January 8, 2002 and March 30, 2002, of al-Iraqi’s capture. See e.g., “Raid May Have Nabbed Bin Laden Lieutenant,” Associated Press, March 30, 2002. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch (see note 27).
7. Muhammed al-Darbi
Reportedly arrested in August 2002
Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda member. The Washington Post reported on October 18, 2002: “U.S. officials learned from interviews with Muhammad Darbi, an al Qaeda member captured in Yemen in August, that a Yemen cell was planning an attack on a Western oil tanker, sources said.” On December 26, 2002, citing “U.S. intelligence and national security officials,” the Washington Post reports that al-Darbi, as well as Ramzi Binalshibh [see below], Omar al-Faruq [reportedly escaped from U.S. custody in July 2005], and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [see below] all “remain under CIA control.”
8. Ramzi bin al-Shibh
Reportedly arrested on September 13, 2002
Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda conspirator in Sept. 11 attacks (former roommate of one of the hijackers). Listed in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,” available on the White House website. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
9. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (or Abdulrahim Mohammad Abda al-Nasheri, aka Abu Bilal al-Makki or Mullah Ahmad Belal)
Reportedly arrested in November 2002, United Arab Emirates.
Saudi or Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, and suspected planner of the USS Cole bombing, and attack on the French oil tanker, Limburg. Listed in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,” available on the White House website. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
10. Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman (aka Asadullah)
Reportedly arrested in February 2003, Quetta, Pakistan.
Egyptian, son of the Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in the United States of involvement in terrorist plots in New York. See Agence France Presse, March 4, 2003: “Pakistani and US agents captured the son of blind Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman. . . a US official said Tuesday. Muhamad Abdel Rahman was arrested in Quetta, Pakistan, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.” David Johnston, New York Times, March 4, 2003: “On Feb. 13, when Pakistani authorities raided an apartment in Quetta, they got the break they needed. They had hoped to find Mr. [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed, but he had fled the apartment, eluding the authorities, as he had on numerous occasions. Instead, they found and arrested Muhammad Abdel Rahman, a son of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric. . .”
11. Mustafa al-Hawsawi (aka al-Hisawi)
Reportedly arrested on March 1, 2003 (together with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad), Pakistan.
Saudi, suspected al-Qaeda financier. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
12. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Reportedly arrested on March 1, 2003, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Kuwaiti (Pakistani parents), suspected al-Qaeda, alleged to have “masterminded” Sept. 11 attacks, killing of Daniel Pearl, and USS Cole attack in 2000. Listed in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,” available on the White House website. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
13. Majid Khan
Reportedly arrested on March-April 2003, Pakistan.
Pakistani, alleged link to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, alleged involvement in plot to blow up gas stations in the United States. Details about Khan’s arrest were revealed in several media reports, especially in Newsweek: Evan Thomas, “Al Qaeda in America: The Enemy Within,” Newsweek, June 23, 2003. U.S. prosecutors provided evidence that Majid Khan was in U.S. custody during the trial of 24-year-old Uzair Paracha, who was convicted in November 2005 of conspiracy charges, and of providing material support to terrorist organizations.
14. Yassir al-Jazeeri (aka al-Jaziri)
Reportedly arrested on March 15, 2003, Pakistan.
Possibly Moroccan, Algerian, or Palestinian, suspected al-Qaeda member, linked to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Details of arrest reported: Alex Spillius, “FBI Questions al-Qaeda Man in Pakistan,” Daily Telegraph, March 17, 2003; Paul Haven, “Al-Qaida suspect begins cooperating with authorities, Pakistani security officials say,” Associated Press, March 17, 2003.
15. Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al Baluchi)
Reportedly arrested on April 29, 2003, Karachi, Pakistan.
A Pakistani, he is alleged to have funneled money to September 11 hijackers, and alleged to have been involved with the Jakarta Marriot bombing and in handling Jose Padilla’s travel to the United States.
U.S. Judge Sidney Stein ruled that defense attorneys for Uzair Paracha could introduce statements Baluchi made to U.S. interrogators, proving that he was in U.S. custody. Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey also mentioned Baluchi during remarks to the media about the case of Jose Padilla on June 1, 2004
16. Waleed Mohammed bin Attash (aka Tawfiq bin Attash or Tawfiq Attash Khallad)
Reportedly arrested on April 29, 2003, Karachi, Pakistan.
Saudi (of Yemeni descent), suspected of involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, and the Sept. 11 attacks. See Afzal Nadeem, “Pakistan Arrests Six Terror Suspects, including Planner of Sept. 11 and USS Cole Bombing,” Associated Press, April 30, 2003. His brother, Hassan Bin Attash, is currently held in Guantanamo. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
President Bush described his arrest as a “major, significant find” in the war against terrorism: “He’s a killer. He was one of the top al-Qaeda operatives. . . . He was right below Khalid Shaikh Mohammad on the organizational chart of al-Qaeda. He is one less person that people who love freedom have to worry about.” David Ensor and Syed Mohsin Naqvi, “Bush Hails Capture of Top al Qaeda Operative,” CNN.com, May 1, 2003.
17. Adil al-Jazeeri
Reportedly arrested on June 17, 2003 outside Peshawar, Pakistan.
Algerian, suspected al-Qaeda and longtime resident of Afghanistan, alleged “leading member” and “longtime aide to bin Laden.” (Possibly transferred to Guantanamo.) Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
18. Hambali (aka Riduan Isamuddin)
Reportedly arrested on August 11, 2003, Thailand.
Indonesian, involved in Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaeda, alleged involvement in organizing and financing the Bali nightclub bombings, the Jakarta Marriot Hotel bombing, and preparations for the September 11 attacks. Listed in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,” available on the White House website. Previously listed as “disappeared” by Human Rights Watch.
19. Mohamad Nazir bin Lep (aka Lillie, or Li-Li)
Reportedly arrested in August 2003, Bangkok, Thailand.
Malaysian, alleged link to Hambali. See next entry.
20. Mohamad Farik Amin (aka Zubair)
Reportedly arrested in June 2003, Thailand.
Malaysian, alleged link to Hambali. For more information on the arrest of Mohammad Farik Amin and Mohamad Nazir bin Lep, see: Kimina Lyall, “Hambali Talks Under Grilling—Slaughter of Innocents,” The Australian, August 21, 2003; Kimina Lyall, “Hambali Moved JI Front Line to Bangladesh, Pakistan,” The Weekend Australian, September 27, 2003; Simon Elegant and Andrew Perrin, “Asia’s Terror Threat,” Time Asia Magazine, October 6, 2003; Simon Elegant, “The Terrorist Talks,” Time, October 13, 2003.
21. Tariq Mahmood
Reportedly arrested in October 2003, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Dual British and Pakistani nationality, alleged to have ties to al-Qaeda. See “Pakistan grills detained British al-Qaeda suspect,” Agence-France Presse, November 10, 2005; Sean O’Neill, “Five still held without help or hope; Guantanamo,” The Times, January 12, 2005.
22. Hassan Ghul
Reportedly arrested on January 23, 2004, in Kurdish highlands, Iraq.
Pakistani, alleged to be Zarqawi’s courier to bin Laden; alleged ties to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. President Bush described Hassan Ghul’s arrest on January 26, 2004, in comments to the press, Little Rock, Arkansas: “Just last week we made further progress in making America more secure when a fellow named Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Hassan Ghul reported directly to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who was the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. . . . He was captured in Iraq, where he was helping al Qaeda to put pressure on our troops.”
23. Musaad Aruchi (aka Musab al-Baluchi, al-Balochi, al-Baloshi)
Reportedly arrested in Karachi on June 12, 2004, in a “CIA-supervised operation.”
Presumably Pakistani. Pakistani intelligence officials told journalists Aruchi was held by Pakistani authorities at an airbase for three days, before being handed over to the U.S., and then flown in an unmarked CIA plane to an undisclosed location. Anwar Iqbal, “Pakistan Hands Over 1998 Bomber to US,” United Press International, August 3, 2004. See also, reports cited in next entry, and Zahid Hussain, “Pakistan Intensifies Effort Against al Qaeda,” The Asian Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2004; Bill Powell, “Target: America,” Time Magazine, August 16, 2004, Vol. 164, Issue 7; “Pakistani Aides: Al-Qaida Arrest in June Opened Leads,” Dow Jones International News, August 3, 2004; “CIA-supervised arrest in Pak opened valuable leads: Report,” The Press Trust of India, August 3, 2004.
24. Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan (aka Abu Talaha)
Reportedly arrested on July 13, 2004, Pakistan.
Pakistani, computer engineer, was held by Pakistani authorities, and likely transferred to U.S. custody. (Possibly in joint U.S.-Pakistani custody.) See Douglas Jehl and David Rohde, “Captured Qaeda Figure Led Way To Information Behind Warning,” New York Times, August 2, 2004. Kamran Khan, “Al Qaeda Arrest In June Opened Valuable Leads,” Washington Post, August 3, 2004; Kamran Khan and Dana Priest, “Pakistan Pressures Al Qaeda; Military Operation Results In Terror Alert and Arrests,” Washington Post, August 5, 2004; “Pakistan questioning almost 20 Al-Qaeda suspects,” Agence-France Presse, August 5, 2005; Robert Block and Gary Fields, “Al Qaeda’s Data on U.S. Targets Aren’t New: Surveillance of Listed Sites In Eastern Cities Took Place Over Time, Perhaps Years,” The Asian Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2004; Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, “One Huge U.S. Jail,” The Guardian, March 19, 2005.
25. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
Reportedly arrested on July 24, 2004, Pakistan
Tanzanian, reportedly indicted in the United States for 1998 embassy bombings. U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials told UPI that Ghailani was transferred to “CIA custody” in early August. See Anwar Iqbal, “Pakistan Hands Over 1998 Bomber to US,” United Press International, August 3, 2004. Pakistani security officials told AFP and Reuters in January 2005, that Ghailani was handed over to the United States “several months ago.” See e.g., “Pakistan hands Tanzanian Al-Qaeda bombing suspect to US,” Agence France Presse, January 25, 2005. Listed as captured in “George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror,” available on the White House website.
26. Abu Faraj al-Libi
Reportedly arrested on May 4, 2005, North Western Frontier Province, Pakistan.
Libyan, suspected al-Qaeda leader of operations, alleged mastermind of two assassination attempts on Musharraf. Col. James Yonts, a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, “said in an email to The Associated Press that al-Libbi was taken directly from Pakistan to the U.S. and was not brought to Afghanistan.”