The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a “high” risk and warned that he would “engage in extremist activities upon release.” He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009.
Al Qaeda claims that two of Ayman al Zawahiri’s daughters and a third woman were exchanged for the son of Ashfaq Pervez Kayani in either late July or early August. The Long War Journal cannot independently verify the claim, but it is known that al Qaeda had been trying to exchange at least one kidnapped son of Pakistan’s elite for the women. Al Qaeda announced that the women and their children were released in early August.
The US government has released an unclassified summary of Abu Zubaydah’s career. Some claim that Abu Zubaydah wasn’t really an al Qaeda member when he was detained in March 2002, but the newly released file alleges that he worked closely with multiple senior al Qaeda operatives and possibly had foreknowledge of the terror group’s three most successful attacks between August 1998 and September 2001.
The US government announced the transfer of two Libyans from Guantanamo to the Republic of Senegal. Both of the men were allegedly members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and worked for al Qaeda prior to their detention. JTF-GTMO found both to be “high” risks. President Obama’s Guantanamo Review Task Force previously deemed one of them “too dangerous” to transfer.
The State Department today added Ajnad Misr, an Egyptian jihadist group, and Ibrahim Rubaish, a senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) official, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists.
Intelligence cited in leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessments link the six recently transferred Guantanamo detainees to Abu Zubaydah and al Qaeda.
Both detainees were approved for transfer “subject to appropriate security measures” by President Obama’s Guantanamo Review Task Force. Previously, Joint Task Force Guantanamo deemed both detainees “high” risks to the US and its allies and recommended that they be retained in US custody.
The Egyptian government has requested the release of Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah from Guantanamo. Al Sawah was a top al Qaeda explosives expert before his capture, and designed the prototype of the shoe bomb used by Richard Reid, as well as magnetized limpet mines. He was originally a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the leaked JTF-GTMO file for his case notes that the US government has been spying on the Brotherhood.