Evidence Links ‘High-Value’ Detainee to Al Qaeda
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 15, 2007 A detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who previously lived in the United States, denied he had any involvement with an al Qaeda group or had planned to reenter the country to commit a terrorist act.
Majid Khan, a native of Pakistan whose family lives in Baltimore, Md., insisted during his Feb. 8 combatant status review tribunal hearing that he is not an enemy combatant. Pentagon officials today released a transcript of the hearing held at the Guantanamo facility.
The tribunal was an administrative hearing to determine only if Khan meets the criteria to be designated an enemy combatant.
Facts presented during the hearing linked Khan to al Qaeda and noted that he planned to use falsified travel documents to return to the United States.
Evidence presented during the tribunal revealed that in early 2003, Khan tapped Uzair Paracha, a U.S. permanent resident alien he met in Pakistan, to impersonate him in the United States. Khan wanted to make it appear that he had never left the United States and planned to use Paracha to obtain immigration documents that would enable him to reenter illegally. Paracha recently was found guilty of material support to terrorism and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Other evidence linked Khan to Lyman Faris, also imprisoned for providing material support and resources to al Qaeda, as well as conspiracy for providing al Qaeda information about possible U.S. targets. Faris was convicted in May 2003 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The evidence also revealed Khan was involved in transporting people across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and had expressed a desire to assassinate Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff by detonating a suicide vest.
Presented with evidence that a previously convicted terrorist had a debit card and five other identification cards in Khan’s name, Khan said he had no intention of using them himself.
Rather, he said, these documents were to be used by “desperate” people in Pakistan to travel to the United States so they could apply for asylum or refugee status.
Khan submitted a “statement of torture” at the tribunal, claiming he was mentally tortured during his detainment. Among his complaints were that he and other detainees were given low-quality soap and other toiletries, noisy fans and deflated balls for recreation that hardly bounced.
He said he protested by refusing to eat or drink, and complained that his captors responded by force-feeding intravenously. Khan said he also protested by chewing through one of his own arteries.
Khan was the 13th “high-value” detainee at Guantanamo Bay to receive a combatant status review tribunal hearing at the facility.