DoD takes custody of high-value al Qaida operative

DoD takes custody of high-value al Qaida operative  (2008) 

DoD takes custody of high-value al Qaida operativeEdit

By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

The Defense Department has taken custody of a “high-value” al Qaida operative, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said March 14.

Whitman said that Muhammad Rahim is now in custody at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Rahim is a high-level member of al Qaida and a close associate of Osama bin Laden. “Prior to his arrival in Guantanamo, he has been held in CIA custody,” Whitman said.

Rahim is from Afghanistan’s Nangahar province and had close ties to al Qaida organizations throughout the Middle East. “He is one of (bin Laden’s) most trusted facilitators and procurement specialists,” Whitman said.

Rahim prepared the Tora Bora complex as a hideout for bin Laden, and assisted in al Qaida’s exodus from the area in late 2001. He joined the terror organization in the mid-1990s, first procuring supplies and later as a courier. He personally carried messages from bin Laden to al Qaida leaders.

“He had knowledge of or was involved in al Qaida attacks planned against coalition forces in Afghanistan,” Whitman said. “At the time of his capture, he was providing support to anti-coalition militias, and groups allied with al Qaida.”

Before 2002, Rahim procured chemicals for an al Qaida plot targeting U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and he worked with al Qaida paramilitary commanders to recruit individuals who had access to U.S. military bases.

Rahim will be treated appropriately and humanely, in accordance with policies and procedures for other DoD detainees at Guantanamo, Whitman said. “He will be treated in accordance with U.S. law and international obligations, including the convention against torture, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act, the Military Commissions Act and applicable DoD directives and instructions governing detainees operations,” he said.

This is the first transfer to Guantanamo since August 2007. The last high-value detainee transferred was in April 2007. Sixteen highvalue detainees are under DoD control at Guantanamo. There are approximately 280 detainees at the facility.

“It’s always important to remember that intelligence is one of our most important tools in the war on terror,” Whitman said. “It’s been essential in developing our knowledge of al Qaida’s structures, operations, finances, logistics, criminal activity, safe routes, safe havens and intentions to conduct further attacks.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).