A total of 133 Saudi citizens have been held in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps at its naval base in Cuba since January 2002. Most had been swept up in Afghanistan following the US invasion in the fall of 2001, and they were classified by the US government as enemy combatants.
In addition, a United States citizen, Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was born in Louisiana but moved as a child with his parents to Saudi Arabia, where he also had citizenship, was initially held there. As an American citizen, he was transferred to a military prison brig on the mainland of the United States. His challenge to his detention, without being informed of charges or brought to trial, was a case that reached the United States Supreme Court. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), the Supreme Court ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the rights of due process, and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority. After this decision, the government made a deal with Hamdi. After he agreed to renounce his US citizenship and observe travel restrictions, in October 2004 Hamdi was deported to Saudi Arabia. He has returned to his family.
Following the deaths of two Saudi citizens in custody on June 10, 2006, and another on May 30, 2007, which the Department of Defense claimed were due to suicides, the Saudi government put pressure on the United States to release its citizens. Nearly 100 were returned to Saudi Arabia from June 2006 through 2007.
As of today, four Saudi citizens are still held at the detention camp.
In January 2002, the United States completed the first phase of construction of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp at its naval base in Cuba. It was designed to hold enemy combatants captured in its war on terror - most taken during action in Afghanistan beginning in the fall of 2001. In total, the US has held 133 Saudi Arabian citizens at Guantanamo. The United States has held a total of 778 detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps at its naval base in Cuba since the camps opened on January 11, 2002. The camp population peaked in 2004 at approximately 660. 35 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.
Three Saudis: Yasser Talal Al Zahrani, Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi and Abdul Rahman al-Amri, died at Guantanamo in 2006 and 2007 during their detention. All were announced by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) as suicides.
The first two were among three men who died on June 10, 2006; the circumstances of their deaths have been strongly questioned by numerous sources, including the Saudi government and the men's families. Journalists and the Center for Policy and Research in its 2009 report have noted glaring inconsistencies in the NCIS report of 2008. Based on an account by four former guards at Guantanamo, Scott Horton suggested in 2010 that the men died as a result of torture and government agencies tried to cover this up.
Al-Amri died on May 30, 2007, as an apparent suicide, according to DOD.
As a result of these deaths, the Saudi government strongly pressured the United States to repatriate its citizens. It developed a reintegration program for former detainees and has worked with them on religious re-education, and reintegrating them into society by arranging for marriages and jobs. From June 2006 and December 2007, a total of 93 Saudi citizens were returned to the country. As of today, eleven Saudi citizens are still held at the detention camp.
Saudi citizens held in Guantanamo
|2007-12-29||00005||Abdul Aziz Al Matrafi|
|2007-07-16||00013||Fahed Nasser Mohamed|
|2007-02-20||00025||Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi||
|2015-09-21||00042||Abdul Rahman Shalabi||
|Held||00049||Assem Matruq Mohammad Al Aasmi|
|2007-09-05||00051||Majid Al Barayan|
|2007-07-15||00053||Saud Dakhil Allah Muslih Al Mahayawi|
|2006-12-13||00055||Muhammed Yahia Mosin Al Zayla|
|2006-06-24||00058||Musa Abed Al Wahab|
|2007-11-09||00059||Sultan Ahmed Dirdeer Musa Al Uwaydha|
|2007-07-15||00062||Muhamad Naji Subhi Al Juhani||
|2006-05-18||00064||Abdel Hadi Mohammed Badan Al Sebaii Sebaii|
|2007-07-15||00066||Yahya Samil Al Suwaymil Al Sulami||
|2007-11-09||00068||Khalid Saud Abd Al Rahman Al Bawardi|
|2003-05-14||00071||Mish'al Muhammad Rashid Al-Shedocky||
|2006-06-24||00073||Yusif Khalil Abdallah Nur|
|2007-12-28||00074||Mesh Arsad Al Rashid||
|2007-09-05||00079||Fahed Al Harazi|
|2003-05-14||00080||Fahd Abdallah Ibrahim Al-Shabani||
|Died in custody||00093||Yasser Talal Al Zahrani|
|2006-05-18||00094||Ibrahim Daif Allah Neman Al Sehli||
|2006-05-18||00095||Abdul Rahman Ahmed Uthman|
|2006-06-24||00096||Muhammad Surur Dakhilallah Al Utaybi|
|2006-05-18||00105||Adnan Muhammed Ali Al Saigh|
|2006-12-13||00109||Yusef Abdullah Saleh Al Rabiesh|
|2007-09-05||00112||Abdul Aziz Saad Al Khaldi|
|2007-11-09||00114||Yussef Mohammed Mubarak Al Shihri|
|2006-12-13||00121||Salman Saad Al Khadi Mohammed||
|2007-07-15||00122||Bijad Thif Allah Al Atabi|
|2003-05-14||00125||Fawaz Abd Al Aziz Al Zahrani|
|2007-09-05||00126||Salam Abdullah Said|
|2003-05-14||00127||Ibrahim Rushdan Brayk Al Shili||
|2006-06-24||00132||Abdul Salam Gaithan Mureef Al Shehry||
|2007-07-15||00154||Mazin Salih Musaid Al Awfi|
|2005-07-19||00155||Khalid Sulaymanjaydh Al Hubayshi||
|2006/05/19||00157||Saed Khatem Al Malki||
|2007-09-28||00172||Ali Muhammed Nasir Mohammed|
|2007-02-20||00176||Majid Aydha Muhammad Al Qurayshi|
|2006-05-18||00177||Fahd Salih Sulayman Al Jutayli|
|2007-07-15||00179||Abdul Rahman Owaid Mohammad Al Juaid|
|2005-11-04||00181||Maji Afas Radhi Al Shimri||
|2007-07-15||00182||Bandar Ahmad Mubarak Al Jabri|
|2006-06-24||00184||Othman Ahmed Othman Al Omairah||
|2007-11-09||00185||Turki Mash Awi Zayid Al Asiri||
|2007-02-20||00186||Rashed Awad Khalaf Balkhair||
|2007-11-09||00187||Murtadha Al Said Makram||
|2006-12-13||00188||Jabir Jubran Al Fayfi||
|2006-06-24||00191||Saleh Ali Jaid Al Khathami|
|2006-12-13||00192||Ibrahimj Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh|
|2016-01-11||00195||Mohammad Al Rahman Al Shumrani|
|2007-09-05||00196||Musa Ali Said Al Said Al Amari|
|Died in custody||00199||Abdul Rahman Ma Ath Thafir Al Amri|
|Held||00200||Said Muhammad Husayn Qahtani|
|2007-07-15||00204||Said Ibrahim Ramzi Al Zahrani|
|2006-12-13||00206||Abdullah Muahammed Abdel Aziz|
|2005-07-19||00207||Mishal Awad Sayaf Alhabiri|
|2007-07-15||00214||Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Al Kurash|
|2007-11-09||00215||Fahd Umr Abd Al Majid Al Sharif|
|2007-12-28||00216||Jamil Ali Al Kabi||
|2007-09-05||00218||Fahd Muhammed Abdullah Al Fouzan||in extrajudicial detention in Guantanamo Bay detainment camp because he attended an "Abu Nasir military camp".|
|2006-12-13||00226||Anwar Al Nurr||
|2007-07-15||00230||Humud Dakhil Humud Sa'id Al-Jad'an|
|2007-09-05||00231||Abdulhadi Abdallah Ibrahim al Sharakh|
|2007-07-15||00234||Khalid Mohammed Al Zaharni|
|Held||00240||Abdullah Yahia Yousf Al Shabli|
|2007-12-28||00243||Abdullah Ali Al Utaybi|
|2006-12-13||00245||Al Silm Haji Hajjaj Awwad Al Hajjaji|
|2005-07-19||00248||Saleh Abdall Al Oshan||
|2007-11-09||00258||Nayif Abdallah Ibrahim Ibrahim||
|2007-07-15||00261||Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari|
|2007-11-09||00262||Abdullah Abd Al Mu'in Al Wafti||
|2006-06-24||00264||Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz Al Baddah|
|2006-06-24||00265||Tariqe Shallah Hassan Al Harbi|
|2006-06-24||00266||Abdallah Muhammad Salih Al Ghanimi|
|2007-12-28||00268||Abdul Rahman Nashi Badi Al Hataybi|
|2006-06-24||00271||Ibrahim Muhammed Ibrahim Al Nasir|
|2007-12-28||00272||Zaid Binsallah Mohammed Il Bhawith||
|2006-12-13||00273||Abd Al Aziz Muhammad Ibrahim Al Nasir|
|2007-09-05||00274||Bader Al Bakri Al Samiri|
|2006-12-13||00286||Ziad Said Farg Jahdari|
|2005-09-30||00287||Sami Abdul Aziz Salim Allaithy|
|2006-05-18||00308||Adil Uqla Hassan Al Nusayri|
|2007-09-05||00318||Rami Bin Said Al Taibi|
|2006-05-18||00319||Mohammed Jayed Sebai||
|2007-09-05||00322||Khalid Hassan Husayn Al Barakat|
|2010-o9-16||00331||Ohmed Ahmed Mahamoud Al Shurfa|
|2007-07-15||00332||Abdullah Al Tayabi|
|2007-11-09||00333||Mohamed Atiq Awayd Al Harbi|
|2009-06-12||00335||Kahlid Saad Mohammed|
|2006-12-13||00336||Majed Hamad Al Frih||
|2006-06-24||00337||Sa ad Ibraham Sa ad Al Bidna|
Wasm Awwad Omar Al-Wasm
|2006-05-18||00339||Khalid Abdallah Abdel Rahman Al Morghi|
|2006-12-13||00340||Bessam Muhammed Saleh Al Dubaikey||
|2006-12-13||00341||Said Ali Al Farha||
|2007-09-05||00342||Mohammed Mubarek Salah Al Qurbi|
|2006-05-18||00343||Abdallah Ibrahim Al Rushaydan|
|2006-06-24||00344||Rashid Abdul Mosleh Qayed|
|2006-05-18||00346||Said Bezan Ashek Shayban|
|2007-09-05||00368||Amran Baqur Mohammed Hawsawi|
|2007-07-15||00370||Abd Al Hizani|
|2007-11-09||00372||Sa Id Ali Jabir Al Khathim Al Shihri||
|2007-12-28||00436||Nayif Fahd Mutliq Al Usaymi|
|2007-02-20||00437||Faizal Saha Al Nasir|
|2007-11-09||00438||Hani Saiid Mohammad Al Khalif|
|2007-12-28||00439||Khalid Malu Shia Al Ghatani||
|2017-01-05||00440||Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir||
|2007-09-05||00493||Abdul Hakim Bukhary|
|2006-05-18||00501||Nawwaf Fahd Humood Al-Otaibi||
|2006-05-18||00505||Khalid Rashd Ali Al Muri|
|2006-12-13||00507||Sultan Sari Sayel Al Anazi||
|2006-12-13||00513||Abdul Rahman Mohammed Hussein Khowlanpp|
|2007-09-05||00514||Abdallah Faris Al Unazi Thani||
|2007-07-15||00516||Ghanim Abdul Rahman Al Harbi|
|2007-02-20||00536||Mohamed Abdullah Al Harbi||
|Held||00553||Abdul Khaled Ahmed Sahleh Al Bedani|
|2007-12-28||00565||Abdul Hakim Abdul Rahman Abdulaziz Al Mousa|
|Held||00566||Mansoor Muhammed Ali Qattaa|
|2007-07-16||00570||Sabri Mohammed Ebrahim Al Qurashi|
|Held||00572||Slah Muhamed Salih Al Zabe|
|2003-05-14||00585||Ibrahim Umar Ali Al Umar||
|Died in custody||00588||Mana Shaman Allabardi Al Tabi|
|2007-09-05||00647||Zaban Thaaher Zaban Al Shamaree||
|2007-11-09||00650||Jabir Hasan Muhamed Al Qahtani|
|2006-05-18||00652||Abdullah Hamid Al Qahtani||
|2006-05-18||00664||Rashid Awad Rashid Al Uwaydah||
|2009-06-12||00669||Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair||
|Held||00682||Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi Al Shirbi|
|2009-06-12||00687||Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee||
|2017-01-18||00696||Jabran Said Wazar Al Qahtani|
|2014-11-22||00713||Muhammed Murdi Issa Al Zahrani||
|2018-05-02||00768||Ahmed Muhammed Haza Al Darbi|
|Held||00893||Tolfiq Nassar Ahmed Al Bihani||
|Held||01456||Hassan Mohammed Salih Bin Attash|
A July 26, 2007 article from Asharq Alawsat described the Care Rehabilitation Center repatriated detainees are held in until they are finally released. According to the article the detainees received special meals, had access to satellite TV, and were able to get day passes.
- "Citizens of Saudi Arabia - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times.
- "The Detainees - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
- "The Guantánamo 'Suicides': A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle", Scott Horton, Harper's Magazine, January 2010.
- "U.S.: Dead Detainee Was of High Value". Central Florida News. May 31, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
- Andy Worthington, "Forgotten: The Second Anniversary Of A Guantánamo Suicide", May 30, 2009, Andy Worthington website, accessed February 8, 2013
- "Who are the 16 Saudis released from Guantanamo? — The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA)". Humanrights.ucdavis.edu. July 18, 2007. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Raid Qusti (July 17, 2007). "More Gitmo Detainees Come Home". Arab News. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
- Andy Worthington (July 18, 2007). "Who are the 16 Saudis Released From Guantánamo?". Huffington Post.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Joudi". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Abdul Rahman Shalabi: Letter to his Lawyers, September 26, 2009 — The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA)". Humanrights.ucdavis.edu. September 26, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- "Secrecy Still Shrouds Guantánamo's Five-Year Hunger Striker". Andy Worthington. October 10, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Gitmo's longest hunger striker now eats some food". KOMO News. October 5, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Shephard, Michelle (July 20, 2009). "Is force-feeding Gitmo detainees ethical?". The Star. Toronto.
- Exclusive: "20th Hijacker" Claims That Torture Made Him Lie, Time, March 3, 2006
- David Frum, Nov. 11, 2006: Gitmo Annotated Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, National Review Online, November 11, 2006
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Fayfi". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "AQAP Concludes Biography of Slain Deputy Leader in 3rd Episode of Series | Jihadist News". News.siteintelgroup.com. August 4, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- P.K. Abdul Ghafour (December 29, 2007). "10 More Return From Guantanamo". Arab News. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Vital organs missing from repatriated body: family, Gulf News, June 21, 2006
- Gitmo detainee buried after body cross-examined Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Yemen Times, June 25, 2005
- "Saudi detainees at Guantanamo returned to the Kingdom; names given". Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. May 19, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (June 21, 2010). "Saudi Gitmo recidivists". Long War Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Ex-Guantanamo inmate surrenders to Saudi authorities". Reuters. July 30, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "The Fight over the Mountains" (PDF). Inspire. Summer 2010. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Shihri". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Andy Worthington (November 12, 2007). "Innocents and Foot Soldiers: The Stories of the 14 Saudis Just Released From Guantánamo". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- Anant Raut, Jill M. Friedman (March 19, 2007). "The Saudi Repatriates Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 1, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2007.
- "Saudi Arabia: Guantanamo Detainees Return to Limbo". scoop.nz. May 31, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- "Guantanamo's Children: The Wikileaked Testimonies — The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA)". Humanrights.ucdavis.edu. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Jutayli". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Othman". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Asiri". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Makram". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "16 Saudis released from Guantanamo arrive home, are immediately detained". WHDH. December 14, 2006. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Arbaysh". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Fahd Muhammed Abdullah Al Fouzan Administrative Review Board - page 94
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Jad'an". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Sharakh". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Lawyers: Gitmo solitary wrecks captive's mind Archived September 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, CNN September 18, 2006
- FBI reports suicide try by suspect at Gitmo: Man tied to recruiting of 'Lackawanna Six Buffalo News, November 7, 2005[dead link]
- Leonnig, Carol D. (August 13, 2005). "Guantanamo Detainee Says Beating Injured Spine Washington Post August 13, 2005". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Guantanamo Bay Detainees Classified as "No Longer Enemy Combatants"". Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 4, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
- "Deep Wounds Al Ahram October 26, 2005". Weekly.ahram.org.eg. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Thomas Joscelyn (June 21, 2010). "Harbi". Longwarjournal.org. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Saudi Gazette. "Al-Oufi gives up, sent back to KSA | Front Page". Saudi Gazette. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- Reggie B. Walton (January 31, 2007). "Gherebi, et al. v. Bush" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
- AHMED AL-HAJ July 17, 2013 4:56 AM (July 17, 2013). "Al-Qaida branch says No. 2 leader killed in Yemen - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- "First Violation of McCain Torture Amendment Alleged in Emergency Injunction: Attorneys File to End Further Torture of Guantánamo Detainee on Hunger Strike Center for Constitutional Rights, June 19, 2009". Ccrjustice.org. February 27, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Sixteen Saudis return from Guantanamo Bay prison". asharq alawsat. September 6, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
- "US 'kept Guantanamo deal from UK'". BBC News. June 12, 2009. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009.
- "USA v. Al Sharbi" (PDF). US Department of Defense. November 7, 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
- "USA v. Al Qahtani" (PDF). US Department of Defense. November 7, 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
- Trial under way for soldier in Afghan prisoner abuse case Star Telegram May 30, 2006[dead link]
- "Soldier pleads not guilty in detainee harm Seattle Post-Intelligencer May 28, 2006". Retrieved February 14, 2011.[dead link]
- "Guantánamo: pain and distress for thousands of children Amnesty International". Web.amnesty.org. November 20, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Reprieve uncovers evidence indicating German territory may have been used in rendition and abuse Reprieve (organisation) October 10, 2006 Archived August 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "List of "Ghost Prisoners" Possibly in CIA Custody Human Rights Watch December 1, 2005". Hrw.org. November 30, 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- Farah Stockman (April 26, 2006). "7 detainees report transfer to nations that use torture". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- Clive Stafford Smith (June 15, 2005). "Kids of Guantanamo". Reprieve via Cageprisoners. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- Turki Al-Saheil (July 26, 2007). "Life After Guantanamo". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
- "Brown meets ex-Guantanamo detainees in Saudi". Agence France Presse. November 2, 2008. Archived from the original on August 11, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
Jane Wardell (November 2, 2008). "Britain's Brown meets Saudi terrorist suspects". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
Brown spoke with six men at the facility near the capital Riyadh and shook hands with two inmates who had each spent six years at Guantanamo Bay for alleged links to al-Qaida.
- Rosa Prince (November 2, 2008). "Gordon Brown shakes hands with Muslim extremists during Saudi visit". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
- Saudi captives Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs
- "Detainee Transfer Announced". United States Department of Defense. July 16, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
- Raid Qusti (July 17, 2007). "More Gitmo Detainees Come Home". Arab News. Retrieved July 17, 2007.