Abdul Haq Wasiq

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Abdul Haq Wasiq
ISN 00004 Abdul Haq Wasiq.jpg
Abdul Haq Wasiq's Guantanamo identity portrait -- the white uniform shows he is considered "compliant"
Deputy Minister of Intelligence
Personal details
Born 1971
Ghazni Province, Afghanistan
Political party Taliban
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Taliban.svg Taliban (1994-2010)
Years of service 1996-2001
Rank Commander
Battles/wars Afghan civil war
War in Afghanistan

Abdul Haq Wasiq is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[2] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 4. American intelligence analysts estimate that he was born in 1971 in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

Abdul Haq Wasiq arrived at the Guantanamo detention camps on January 11, 2002, and he was held there until May 31, 2014.[3][4] He was released, along with the other four members of the so-called Taliban fiveMohammad Fazl, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Norullah Noori, and Mohammad Nabi Omari in exchange for the release of United States Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network.[5][6]

Held aboard the USS Bataan[edit]

Former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef described being flown to the United States Navy's amphibious warfare vessel, the USS Bataan, for special interrogation.[7] Zaeef wrote that the cells were located six decks down and were only 1 meter by 2 meters. He wrote that the captives weren't allowed to speak with one another, but that he "eventually saw that Mullahs Fazal, Noori, Burhan, Wasseeq Sahib and Rohani were all among the other prisoners." Historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, identified Wasiq as one of the men Zaeef recognized. He identified Mullah Rohani as Gholam Ruhani, Mullah Noori as Norullah Noori and Mullah Fazal as Mohammed Fazil.

Combatant Status Review[edit]

Wasiq was among the 60% of prisoners who participated in the tribunal hearings.[8] A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal of each detainee.

Wasiq's memo accused him of the following:[9]

a The detainee is associated with al Qaida and the Taliban.
  1. The detainee in a letter to his brother, included greetings to an al Qaida member.
  2. The detainee was the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence.
  3. The detainee used a radio to communicate with the Taliban Chief of Intelligence.
b The detainee participated in military operations against the coalition.
  1. The detainee was involved in the operation to re-establish the front lines of Konduz, Afghanistan.

Administrative Review Board hearings[edit]

Hearing room where Guantanamo captive's annual Administrative Review Board hearings convened for captives whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal had already determined they were an "enemy combatant".[10]

Detainees who were determined to have been properly classified as "enemy combatants" were scheduled to have their dossier reviewed at annual Administrative Review Board hearings. The Administrative Review Boards weren't authorized to review whether a detainee qualified for POW status and they weren't authorized to review whether a detainee should have been classified as an "enemy combatant".

The members of the Administrative Review Board were authorized to consider whether a detainee should continue to be detained by the United States because the detainee continued to pose a threat, whether the detainee could safely be repatriated to his home country, or whether the detainee should be released.

First annual Administrative Review Board[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdul Haq Wasiq's first annual Administrative Review Board, on July 18, 2005.[11] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee served as Deputy Minister of Intelligence in the Taliban Intelligence Service.
  2. The detainee served as acting Minister of Intelligence when Qari Ahmadullah was away from Kabul performing his duties as governor of Tahar province
  3. The detainee was a participant in military operation in Konduz.
  4. Detainee used Icom radios and provided information on communications security procedures within the Taliban Intelligence Department.
b. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee arranged to have an Egyptian al Qaida member, Hamza Zobir teach Taliban intelligence officers about intelligence work.
  2. The detainee gave a suspected Afghani arms smuggler a Codan high frequency radio set for safekeeping. The suspected arms smuggler allegedly had many weapons caches near Ghazni.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a. At the time of his capture, the detainee claims he was attempting to assist the U.S. in capturing Mullah Mohammed Omar. He claims if the Americans had not arrested him, then they might have captured Mullah Mohammed Omar and the detainee's superior, Qari Ahmadullah, head of Taliban Intelligence.
b. Detainee has very few citations, primarily for non-aggressive infractions including physical training in cell, leading prayer; making excessive noise; and periodically refusing medications, food, and showers.

Joint Review Task Force[edit]

When he assumed office in January 2009, President Barack Obama made a number of promises about the future of Guantanamo.[12][13][14] He promised the use of torture would cease at the camp. He promised to institute a new review system. That new review system was composed of officials from six departments, where the OARDEC reviews were conducted entirely by the Department of Defense. When it reported back, a year later, the Joint Review Task Force classified some individuals as too dangerous to be transferred from Guantanamo, even though there was no evidence to justify laying charges against them. On April 9, 2013, that document was made public after a Freedom of Information Act request.[15] Abdul Haq Wasiq was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Although Obama promised that those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board less than a quarter of men have received a review.

Press reports[edit]

An article in the Christian Science Monitor quotes Ahmadullah, who was told by Mohammed Omar to go back to Kandahar.[16] It quotes him:

"He called me twice to come to Kandahar. But I cannot go there easily, because a lot of people know me, and I am frightened they will capture me somewhere on the road.[16] So I sent my assistant Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq to Kandahar. Unfortunately he was captured by American agents in Ghazni."

Release negotiations[edit]

Most Afghans had been repatriated to Afghanistan by 2009.[17] Throughout the fall of 2011 and the winter of 2012, the United States conducted peace negotiations with the Taliban and widely leaked that a key sticking point was the ongoing detention of Wasiq and four other senior Taliban, Norullah Noori, Mohammed Fazl, Khirullah Khairkhwa and Mohammed Nabi.[18][19][20] Negotiations hinged on a proposal to send the five men directly to Doha, Qatar, where they would be allowed to set up an official office for the Taliban.

In March 2012, it was reported that Ibrahim Spinzada, described as "Karzai's top aide" had spoken with the five men, in Guantanamo, earlier that month, and had secured their agreement to be transferred to Qatar.[20] It was reported that Karzai, who had initially opposed the transfer, now backed the plan. It was reported that US officials stated the Obama administration had not yet agreed to transfer the five men.

Release from Guantanamo Bay[edit]

Wasiq and the other four members of the Taliban five were released from Guantanamo Bay and transported to Qatar where they were set free on June 1, 2014. Their release concurred with that of captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl's release in eastern Afghanistan in a deal brokered by the Emir of Qatar. Wasiq, and the other members of the Taliban five, were required to stay in Qatar for 12 months as a condition of their release.[21]


  1. ^ Deobandi Islam: The Religion of the Taliban U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps, 15 October 2001
  2. ^ OARDEC. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-05-15.  Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
  3. ^ JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Terror suspects freed by Obama admin. for soldier were labeled 'high risk' in 2008: report - Washington Times". The Washingtion Times. 
  5. ^ "Taliban's Mullah Omar celebrates prisoner-swap 'victory'". BBC News. 
  6. ^ Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Abdul Haq Wasiq". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Abdul Salam Zaeef (2010). "Torture and Abuse on the USS Bataan and in Bagram and Kandahar: An Excerpt from "My Life with the Taliban" by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef". Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. We were not permitted to talk to each other, but could see one another while the food was handed to us. I eventually saw that Mullahs Fazal, Noori, Burhan, Wasseeq Sahib and Rohani were all among the other prisoners, but still we could not talk to each other. 
  8. ^ OARDEC, Index to Transcripts of Detainee Testimony and Documents Submitted by Detainees at Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo Between July 2004 and March 2005 Archived 2007-12-03 at the Wayback Machine., September 4, 2007
  9. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Haq Wasiq's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 13-24
  10. ^ Spc Timothy Book (March 10, 2006). "Review process unprecedented" (PDF). JTF-GTMO Public Affairs Office. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  11. ^ OARDEC (18 July 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Wasiq, Abdul Haq" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  12. ^ Peter Finn (January 22, 2010). "Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Peter Finn (May 29, 2010). "Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters, task force report says". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ Andy Worthington (June 11, 2010). "Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo?". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ "71 Guantanamo Detainees Determined Eligible to Receive a Periodic Review Board as of April 19, 2013". Joint Review Task Force. 2013-04-09. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  16. ^ a b "Al Qaeda planning next phase". Christian Science Monitor. 2001-12-28. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  17. ^ M K Bhadrakumar (2012-01-10). "There's more to peace than Taliban". Asia Times. Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-01-11. Nevertheless, Iranian media insist that three high-ranking Taliban leaders have been released - Mullah Khairkhawa, former interior minister; Mullah Noorullah Noori, a former governor; and Mullah Fazl Akhund, the Taliban's chief of army staff - in exchange for an American soldier held by the Taliban. 
  18. ^ "Guantanamo Taliban inmates 'agree to Qatar transfer'". BBC News. 2012-03-10. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-12. If the president pursues this strategy, though, he will need support from wary politicians in Congress, our correspondent says. Many there see a transfer of what they call the most dangerous inmates at Guantanamo as a step too far, he adds. 
  19. ^ Rahim Faiez, Anne Gearan (2012-03-12). "Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo OK transfer". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-12. Five top Taliban leaders held by the U.S. in the Guantánamo Bay military prison told a visiting Afghan delegation they agree to a proposed transfer to the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, opening the door for a possible move aimed at bringing the Taliban into peace talks, Afghan officials said Saturday. 
  20. ^ a b Hamid Shalizi (2012-03-10). "Taliban Guantanamo detainees agree to Qatar transfer - official". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-03-12. Karzai's top aide, Ibrahim Spinzada, visited the Guantanamo facility this week to secure approval from the five Taliban prisoners to be moved to Qatar. 
  21. ^ "American soldier held captive in Afghanistan is now free". MSNBC. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 

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