The Blog

Two Gitmo Detainees Transferred to Algeria

The Obama administration's statement on the transfer does not tell the American public what Algeria is doing with the two terrorists.

10:45 PM, Jan 21, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

This same memo noted that the IEDs were to be used against American forces in Afghanistan:


“At the three day training course, an impromptu discussion took place on methods to attack United States forces stationed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. One of the methods would involve poisoning the food destined for the base, while it was in the port of Karachi, Pakistan. The other method involved placing Improvised Explosive Devices on fuel trucks that supplied the bases. The Improvised Explosive Devices would be placed on the trucks while they were in Peshawar, Pakistan before they crossed in Afghanistan. The participants additionally discussed bomb attacks of United States forces in Konar Province, Afghanistan; Jalalabad, Afghanistan; and Nangarhar, Afghanistan.”

In addition to his involvement with this IED cell, Hamlili was allegedly responsible for two attacks on churches in Pakistan in 2002 and carried cash that was to be used to fund an attack on then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Again, according to a memo prepared at Gitmo:


“The detainee was responsible for the 24 December 2002 attack on the Chawanwali Church in Punjab, Pakistan and the 17 Mar 2002 attack on the Protestant Islamic Church in Islamabad, Pakistan. The detainee had 300,000 Pakistani Rupees (approximately 5,263 United States Dollars) to support the detainee’s cell in Punjab, Pakistan and fund an attack against the Pakistani President.”

During one hearing at Gitmo, Hamlili denied most of the allegations against him, claiming he was forced to make many admissions. But Hamlili did admit that he worked for the Taliban, and documents produced at Gitmo allege he worked as a translator for the Taliban’s Foreign Minister.

The Gitmo documents also allege that Hamlili assisted Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who would go on to lead al Qaeda in Iraq, when Zarqawi was in Afghanistan.

Are Zumiri and Hamlili in an Algerian prison? If so, they are likely pining for their days in Cuba. Algerian authorities are known to treat al Qaeda operatives in a manner that is especially harsh.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers