Haji Bismullah

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Haji Bismullah, also known as Haji Bismillah, Haji Besmella, and Haji Mohammad Wali, is a citizen of Afghanistan, who had been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but was recently freed.

On July 20, 2007, in response to his habeas corpus petition in Bismullah v. Gates, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that his attorneys had the right to review all evidence against him; the court also ruled in the simultaneous case of Parhat v. Gates. In a September 2007 request for rehearing, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael V. Hayden, had testified in support of the government's motion to suppress the hearing on the grounds of the state secrets privilege.

In May 2008, the Department of Defense asked to court to hold the motion in abeyance, as new evidence had been obtained and was being presented to a new hearing. [1]

He had been held for approximately six years, but, in January 2009, slightly before the end of the George W. Bush Administration, after a determination, by a Military Commission, that he “should no longer be deemed an enemy combatant." The Administration said “Mr. Bismullah was lawfully detained as an enemy combatant based on the information that was available at the time.” Bismullah had claimed that not only was not a terrorist, but had fought the Taliban and was part of the subsequent pro-American Afghan government.[2]

According to the Times, his job, as the chief of transportation for the government of Helmand Province had been desired by another clan, who denounced him. While he was detained, Afghan government officials said his car had been observed being driven by an accuser, with ties to the Taliban. While at Guantanamo, he had asked to have his brothr, spokesman for a pro-American provincial governor, vouch for him; the official U.S, response was that the brother,Haji Mohammad Wali, was not "reasonably available." Eventually, the brother swore, in 2006, that Bismullah and his whole family, “fought to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan.”


  1. Frank Sweigart, (Director, Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants, U.S. Department of Defense) (May 8, 2008), Notice of New CSRT hearing and Motion to Remand, or, in the Alternative, to Hold in Abeyance
  2. William Glabberson (January 19, 2009), Rulings of Improper Detentions as the Bush Era Closes