Template:Infobox War on Terror detainee Abdurahman Khadr (Template:Lang-ar, Template:Transl; born 1982) is the third child of the Egyptian Canadian Khadr family, and was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba, after being detained in Afghanistan under suspicion of connections to Al-Qaeda. He later claimed to have been an informant for the CIA, which the agency declined to comment on when asked for confirmation by Frontline.
His younger brother Omar Khadr, captured separately, during a firefight, was also held in Guantanamo.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Abdurahman Khadr was born in Manama, Bahrain, the son of Ahmed Khadr, an Egyptian immigrant to Canada. His father visited Pakistan after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the early 1980s, and brought his family to Pakistan in 1985.
In his youth, Khadr was known as the "problem child" in the family, frequently running away and getting in trouble, refusing to follow any rules, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. In 1994, he was sent to Khalden training camp along with his brother Abdullah, where he was given the alias Osama. The two brothers fought constantly at the camp, one day their argument became so heated that Abdullah pointed his AK-47 and Abdurahman his PPK handgun, at each other screaming, before a trainer stepped between them. In 1997, a dispute between the brothers was mediated by Abu Laith al-Libi, who earned their confidence and respect telling them about Dubai and Ferraris, later described as "really cool" by Abdurahman.
While the family was living in Nazim Jihad with Osama bin Laden's family in 1998, Abdurahman became close friends with Abdulrahman bin Laden who was close to his age, and the only child in the group to have his own horse, although Abdurahman successfully petitioned his own father to buy him a horse. Once, when the two horses fought, bin Laden pointed a gun at Khadr, yelling at him to stop the fight before his prized Arabian horse was killed. When the family was leaving the compound, Abdurahman and Abdullah fought over seating in the car, and the fight ended with the older Khadr chasing his brother around the car with an AK-47 screaming. Their mother ended up asking bin Laden if he could please take care of the troublesome Abdurahman since "she could not control him", and he begrudgingly agreed to look after the youth until their father returned. However, the next day bin Laden informed Abdurahman that it would not work, and he asked Saif al-Adel to take the 16-year old to the bus station so he could catch up with his family en route back to Peshawar.
The following year, Abdurahman says he was sent to Jihad Wel al-Farouq for seven days. On August 20, 1998, Al Farouq training camp was bombed by American cruise missiles; and Amr Hamed was killed; although Abdurahman identified a distinctive birthmark on his toe; and for the first time, felt hatred for Americans.
Arrest and release[edit | edit source]
In November 2001, Khadr was captured by the Northern Alliance in Kabul, a city he was wandering aimlessly without direction, although one elderly man later claimed that he had installed an anti-aircraft gun on the roof of a house. He was handed over to American authorities. He later claimed to have been captured several other times, and released each time.
At this point, stories begin to diverge. Khadr claims he lived for nine months in a CIA safe house near the American Embassy in Kabul, and worked abroad as an informant. But other sources say he was taken to Guantanamo Bay on March 21, 2002.
The CIA reportedly offered him a contract in March 2003 and asked him to work as an infiltrator for American intelligence in Guantanamo, being paid $5,000 and a monthly stipend of $3000. While in Cuba, Khadr worked to obtain information from his fellow inmates before spending five additional months at the Camp X-Ray prison, where he claims to have been given training as an undercover CIA operative.
The Department of Defense published height and weight records for all but ten of the captives held in Guantanamo. Khadr is one of the ten men whose height and weight records were withheld. Khadr was listed as "Abdul Khadr" on the Department of Defense's official list of Guantanamo detainees. The Department of Defense has not offered an explanation for why no records for those ten men were published.
Although the United States later said that Khadr had been removed from the camp in July 2003, an October 9 memo summarizing a meeting between General Geoffrey Miller and his staff and Vincent Cassard of the ICRC, acknowledged that camp authorities were not permitting the ICRC to have access to Khadr, and three other detainees, due to "military necessity".
He says he was later given a bogus passport and boarded a Gulfstream jet assigned to CIA Director George Tenet and, after a stop-over in Portugal, landed in Bosnia where he was asked to conduct a spy operation at mosques in Sarajevo. Khadr states that he attempted to approach Canadian embassies in various nations and was rebuffed at all of them. He phoned his grandmother Fatmah el-Samnah while in Sarajevo and asked her to go to the Canadian media and tell them that he had been stranded and refused entry back into Canada. He was finally granted admittance to the Canadian embassy in Bosnia and was flown back to Canada on November 30, 2003.
On December 4, 2003, Khadr held a press conference with lawyer Rocco Galati and gave spurious answers to questions about his role in the War on Terror, not mentioning any alleged cooperation with the CIA. The following month, he denied reports by the Toronto Star that he had been released in exchange for giving the Americans information on the location of his father, who was killed in a Predator drone airstrike in Waziristan two weeks before Abdurahman's release.
Interviews[edit | edit source]
In March 2004, Khadr gave a series of three interviews to PBS, which became the focus of a documentary entitled "Son of al Qaeda", after largely passing a polygraph test, where he claimed that he grew up in "an al-Qaeda family", and that he resented his father for associating with militants.
He has given a number of conflicting accounts of his life, many of which contradict each other. For example, he has claimed that he was as young as 9 when he began attending Afghan training camps, and that he remained in them until as late as 2003, years after he had not only been kicked out of the camps, but was imprisoned by the United States. He has repeatedly made comments suggesting that everything up until his most recent story was a lie.
Passport issue[edit | edit source]
In July 2004, Khadr was denied a Canadian passport by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, on the explicit advice of Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham, by invoking the royal prerogative. Graham claimed the decision was "in the interest of the national security of Canada and the protection of Canadian troops in Afghanistan." National security was not listed as a ground of refusal in the Canadian Passport Order at the time, thus requiring the use of royal prerogative. It was, however, added as a ground shortly thereafter on September 22, 2004. Under the terms of the amendment, the Minister was empowered to revoke or refuse to renew or issue a passport on national security grounds.
Khadr sought judicial review of the Minister's decision. On June 8, 2006, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the Minister did not have the power to deny Khadr's passport in the absence of specific authority set out in the Canadian Passport Order, but stated in obiter dicta that if the Order were to be amended (as it had been after the fact), Khadr would likely not be able to challenge the revocation.
On August 30, 2006, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Peter MacKay, with the support of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, again denied Khadr's application, this time on the basis of the now-amended Canadian Passport Order.
Various claims[edit | edit source]
- Although Mahmoud Jaballah has said that he never met Abdurahman's father while in Peshawar, Abdurahman has said that he had seen Jaballah around the city.
- When the CIA asked him for the names of Canadians who had attended Khalden, he listed Amer el-Maati, Ahmad el-Maati, Amr Hamed and another Canadian he knew only as Idriss who was arrested for conspiring to attack an embassy in Azerbaijan. He later claimed that Amer el-Maati had given his Canadian passport to Idriss.
- He has said that his family ran a guesthouse for Canadians wanting to train with al-Qaeda.
Movie deal[edit | edit source]
On January 9, 2005 Variety reported that there were plans to make a movie based on Khadr's life. Variety reported the movie deal might be worth "mid to high six figures" to Khadr. On June 5, 2005 Variety reported that Kier Pearson, the screenwriter for Hotel Rwanda would be working on a script for Paramount Pictures.
References[edit | edit source]
- Interview with Abdurahman Khadr, PBS.
- CBC: The Khadrs, CBC, March 4, 2004
- Baksh, Nazim. CBC Radio, Mischief or Terror?, December 3, 2003
- Michelle Shephard, "Guantanamo's Child", 2008.
- Nasiri, Omar, Inside the Jihad: My Life with al Qaeda, a Spy's story, 2006
- Wright, Lawrence, "The Looming Tower", 2006
- "Son of Al Qaeda" PBS documentary on Abdurahman Khadr
- Testimony of Abdurahman Khadr as a witness in the trial against Charkaoui, July 13, 2004
- Krauss, Clifford. New York Times, Canadian Teenager Held by U.S. in Afghanistan in Killing of American Medic, September 14, 2002
- Toronto Star, "Toronto's link to terrorism grows", April 2003
- New York Times, Guantánamo Memories, From Outside the Wire, June 21, 2004
- JTF-GTMO (2006-03-16). "Heights, weights, and in-processing dates". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhumanrights.ucdavis.edu%2Freports%2Fheights-weights-and-in-processing-dates&date=2008-12-25. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- ICRC Meeting with MG Miller on 09 Oct 2003 (.pdf), Department of Defense, October 9, 2003
- EU official debriefs Khadr about CIA flight: MP probing agency's rendition trips, including ex-detainee's travel in Europe, Globe and Mail, December 4, 2006
- Abdurahman Khadr: mischief or terror?, CBC, December 4, 2003
- CTV News, Khadr denies deal to lead U.S. to dad, January 1, 2004
- Toronto Star, "Sometimes innocent people pay the price", March 4, 2004
- Order Amending the Canadian Passport Order
- CTV.ca | Khadr lawyer says passport denial violates rights
- Khadr v. Attorney General of Canada
- Ottawa again denies Khadr's passport application, CTV News, 30 August 2006
- Bell, Stewart. National Post, "'A lot' of Canadians in al-Qaeda", August 1, 2004
- Freeze, Colin, Globe and Mail, "Canadians' ties with Chechen insurgents probed", October 16, 2004
- Osama insider in pic pact, Variety, January 9, 2005
- 'Rwanda' man plots CIA stint, Variety, June 5, 2005
[edit | edit source]
- Khadr thankful to be back in Canada, CBC, December 1, 2003
- Khadr v. Attorney General of Canada, Federal Court of Canada, June 8, 2006