Society

Alleged 9/11 Mastermind To Testify Against CIA

| by Shani Shahmoon

America finally saw the face of one of the five men being charged for 9/11 war crimes in 2016, 15 years after the event. In May, we might see him again.

Fifteen years after being captured by the United States Armed Forces, an alleged 9/11 mastermind has chosen to testify against the CIA for use of torture.

Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Hussein was captured in Pakistan in 2002, after shots were fired. He was reportedly in critical condition and was taken care of under U.S. watch. Since his capturing, Hussein has been referred to as Abu Zubaydah and has lived under the CIA's rule at sites around the world. While held in Thailand, Zubaydah lost an eye due to the intense torture the CIA reportedly placed on him.

Now, 15 years later and still having not faced trial for alleged 9/11 war crimes, Zubaydah is ready to speak about the illegal torture he has faced at Camp 7, the highest-security facility in Guantanamo that holds the most valuable detainees, including the five men who are being charged with over 2,000 war crimes in the 9/11 attacks, The Guardian reported.

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In 2014, a highly critical Senate report that documented 6,700 pages worth of information regarding the use of "indefinite secret detention and brutal interrogation techniques" since 9/11-- documented by The New York Times -- was released to the public.

In this report, it is said that Zubaydah was the first detainee to be waterboarded, and was subjected to 83 bouts of it in one month.

Zubaydah was asked to testify in support of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another one of the five alleged 9/11 plotters who have been held at Camp 7.

For years, al-Shibh has complained to the courts that he has been subject to odd noises and vibrations while at Camp 7, the Miami Herald reported.

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Another former CIA prisoner, Hassan Guleed of Somalia, supported al-Shibh's claims, saying he experiences the same noises and vibrations, and even smells odd scents.

On June 2, 2016, it was Zubaydah's turn to testify on the conditions of Camp 7. It would have been his first public appearance. His military lawyer, Navy Cmdr. Partick Flor, requested testimonial immunity for Zubaydah so that anything he said in that testimony couldn't be used against him in future prosecutions (for instance, his future hearing regarding the thousands of war crimes committed on 9/11).

Both the Pentagon overseer of the war court and the judge have declined the request; therefore, Zubaydah's public appearance and testimony were postponed.

Nearly a year later, in May, another one of Zubaydah's lawyers, Mark Denbeaux, released a waiver letter stating that Zubaydah will testify at the May 19 trial -- if there is one -- regardless of the fact he has no granted immunity, "to celebrate his survival and to let the world hear his voice and to see him."

Zubaydah's future war crime trial, though, has been pushed back multiple times.

Current law doesn't require that Guantanamo captives be tried, giving them the title "forever prisoners."

Sources: The Guardian (2), Miami Herald (2), The New York Times (2) / Photo credit: Pixabay

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