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Binyam Ahmed Mohammad

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Binyam Ahmed Mohammad (1978-) is a citizen of Ethiopia who was held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo detention camp, in Cuba.[1] Benyam had been resident in the United Kingdom, for seven years, although he was captured in Pakistan in July 2002 and rendered to Moroccan interrrogation, then to CIA locations including one in Afghanistan and one at an undisclosed location, and then to Guantanamo. He was released in January 2009.

At first, it was alleged he had conspired with Jose Padilla to explode dirty bombs in the USA, although the charges against Padilla was dropped, the charges were continued against him in a hearing before a military tribunal. The charges were dropped in October 2008.[2]

The Director of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Sir John Sawers, has expressed concern that details of his interrogation,, and CIA information, was released, in summary form, by a British court. It is his view, not necessarily that of Her Majesty's Government, the courts should not have to release information. "Judges may see the information, but no one else, he seemed to suggest. To MI6's horror, in the Binyam Mohamed case the appeal court ruled that CIA information should be disclosed, albeit only in summary form."[3]

Initial charges

The Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for his Tribunal, which listed the following allegations: [4] In addition to the radiological weapon, he was charged affiliation with al-Qaeda and [5]

Binyam was charged twice. In November 2005, he faced charges before the first, Presidentially authorized military commissions. In July 2006, the commission that tried him was invalidated by Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which held that the President lacked the constitutional authority to order Military Commissions.

A civil action of supporting al-Qaeda financially was filed against him.[6]

Subsequent legal actions

He was a co-plaintiff in Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a suit against the Boeing subsidiary that assisted the CIA in renditions. His attorneys stated he flown to Morocco where he alleges to have been seized in July 2002 and taken to interrogated under torture, for 18 months, by Moroccan intelligence; in July 2004 taken to two CIA facilities, one in Afghanistan and tortured again; and was, at the time of the filing, detained at Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[7]

On August 21, 2008, Britain's High Court of Justice ruledhe was entitled to entitled to receive documents from the British government about his rendition and detention, including U.S.-U.K. cooperation. Subsequently, however, the court suppressed the material, when the U.S. invoked the state secrets privilege and threatened to stop providing intelligence on terrorism to the U.K., because "the public of the United Kingdom would be put at risk." David Davis, shadow Home Secretary in the opposition, called for an explanation of the action by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd. [8] Thomas and Douglas, however, were reported as unhappy with the decision, which they made as a result of a warning by the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.[9] relating to his rendition, detention and interrogation, including documents confirming the cooperation between the U.S. and U.K. governments in those events.

In the winter of 2008 he faced a new, different set of charges before the Commissions created by the Military Commissions Act. The appeal in Jeppesen is pending.

References

  1. List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved on 2006-05-15.
  2. Peter Finn. Key Allegations Against Terror Suspect Withdrawn, Washington Post, 2008-10-15. Retrieved on 2008-10-15. mirror
  3. Richard Norton-Taylor (28 October 2010), "MI6 chief brings secrecy into the open: Sir John Sawers takes on accusations in unprecedented address direct to public, circumventing public face of Whitehall", Guardian (UK)
  4. OARDEC (2004-11-10). Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- name redacted (published March 2005). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
  5. OARDEC (2004-11-10). Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Mohammad, Binyam Ahmed (published April 2005). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved on 2008-10-15.
  6. Rose, David (11 December 2005), "An Ethiopian claims that his confession to al-Qaeda bomb plot was signed after beatings", Guardian
  7. American Civil Liberties Union for plaintiffs Binyam Ahmed Mohammad, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza (April 30, 2007), Civil Action No. 5:07-cv-02798 (JW): Complaint, Demand for Jury Trial
  8. Andy Davies (February 4, 2009), "US government threatens to withdraw intelligence", Channel 4 (UK)
  9. Richard Norton-Taylor (February 5, 2009), "Evidence of torture 'buried by ministers': Judges condemn secrecy over files detailing treatment of suspect by CIA", Guardian