The Kandahar Five is a term used to refer to five men who had been held, for years, in a Taliban prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, only to end up in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1][2]

Several of the men were interviewed by international reporters during a brief period of partial freedom when they were held in a refugee camp following the takeover of the prison by Northern Alliance forces. They men say they ended up being traded to the Americans in return for a bounty.

According to the Associated Press Commander Jeffrey Gordon, a Department of Defense spokesman defended the men's continued detention[1]:

“Multiple reviews and designations have been conducted since each unlawful enemy combatant was captured, to include during initial detention overseas to lengthy procedures at Guantanamo,”

489 Abd Al Rahim Abdul Rassak Janko
490 Jamal Udeen Al-Harith
  • Claims he paid a driver to take him from Pakistan to Iran, without realizing that his driver would take a shortcut that would take him through Afghanistan, where the Taliban seized him as an American spy, based on his British passport.[4]
  • Went directly from custody in a Taliban jail to US custody.
491 Sadik Ahmad Turkistani
  • Turkistani was imprisoned by the Taliban for four and a half years, because he was alleged to have been involved in a plot to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Turkistani admits being opposed to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, but he denies that he was involved in any plots.[5]
492 Airat Vakhitov
493 Abdul Hakim Bukhary


  1. 1.0 1.1 From Taliban jail to Gitmo – hard-luck prisoners tell of unending ordeal [1] Paul Haven June 30, 2007
  2. Guantánamo inmate tortured by al-Qaeda and entombed by the US [2] Tim Reid The Times 2009-01-16 mirror
  3. Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Arkan Mohammad Ghafil Al Karim's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 1-15
  4. The most hapless tourist in the world: It's no holiday when the Taliban deem you a spy and the US labels you a terrorist, The Age, March 13, 2004
  5. Detainee Cleared for Release Is in Limbo at Guantanamo, Washington Post, December 14, 2005
  6. Thumbnails of the 9 men at Guantanamo Bay who were once Taliban prisoners [3] June 30, 2007
  7. Guantanamo Bay: The testimony, BBC, March 4, 2006
  8. Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Hakim Bukhary'sCombatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 56-65