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Muhammad Rahim al Afghani is a citizen of Afghanistan currently held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] The United States Department of Defense announced he had been transferred to military custody on 14 March 2008.

According to Agence France-Presse[2]:

Rahim is the 16th so-called "high value" prisoner to be transferred to Guantanamo since September 2006 when President George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of secret CIA detention facilities overseas.

The New York Times reports that he was the first captive to be transferred from CIA custody in close to a year.[5]

He was captured in Lahore, Pakistan, in July 2008, and held in CIA custody until his transfer to Guantanamo on March 28, 2008.[1][10] According to the official press release announcing his transfer to Guantanamo he had been held in the CIA's network of secret interrogation centers prior to his transfer to Guantanamo. The Pentagon classified him as a high value detainee, an appellation he shared with the 14 captives transferred from the CIA on September 6, 2006, and with Abdul Hadi al Iraqi. That press release stated:

"Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani was a close associate of Usama bin Ladin and had ties to al-Qaida organizations throughout the Middle East. He became one of bin Ladin’s most trusted facilitators and procurement specialists prior to his detention."

In late November 2008 the New York Times published a page summarizing the official documents from each captive.[11] The New York Times stated that no further official records of his detention—no Combatant Status Review Tribunal had been published.[12] They identified him as identified captive 10030. They identified him as a "high value detainee".

In 2002 the BBC reported that an individual named Mohammed Rahim" was one of the Taliban senior leader Mohammed Omar's drivers.[13] According to the BBC, in an interview with Reuters in January 2002, Mohammed Rahim described how the Taliban's senior leader escaped two American missile strikes.

In his interview Mohammed Rahim said that when Mohammed Omar's home in Kandahar was hit by a missile strike he engaged him to drive his taxi, containing Mohammed Omar, his second wife, and several of his children to Sangisar, an hour away.[13] Almost immediately after their arrival, and exit from his taxi, it too was struck by a missile. The missile struck the taxi, nothing else in the village was targeted.

Mohammed Rahim said he fled one way, and Mohammed Omar fled another, and that this was his last contact with him.[13]

Reports al-Afghani was subjected to "extended interrogation techniques"Edit

In August 2009 formerly classified documents about the CIA's use of extended interrogation techniques were made public when the judicial branch upheld Freedom of Information Act requests.[14] On August 27, 2009, Pamela Hess and Devlin Barrett, of the Associated Press, reported that in late 2007 the CIA subjected a captive was chained to the floors and walls of his cell, and subjected to extended sleep deprivation. They noted while the captive's name was withheld Al-Afghani was the only captive known to have been in CIA custody at the time of the use of these techniques. They noted that the Bush Presidency had publicly abandoned the use of these techniques, but an exception was made because government lawyers had given the CIA permission.

The captive had his hands chained above the level of his heart.[14] He was made to wear diapers, so he would not have to be unbound for bathroom breaks. When observers watching over closed-circuit TV saw him start to fall asleep they were able to wake him by remotely jerking his shackles. When he developed edema, swelling of the legs, a common consequence of the use of these techniques he was shifted to being bound to a low stool, still with his hands bound above the level of his heart.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Defense Department Takes Custody Of A High-Value Detainee [1] 2008-03-28 mirror
  2. 2.0 2.1 Alleged Bin Laden associate in US military custody: Pentagon [2] 14 March 2008
  3. Defense Department Takes Custody Of A High-Value Detainee [3] 14 March 2008
  4. U.S. Transfers Bin Laden Aide [4] Joby Warrick 15 March 2008
  5. 5.0 5.1 C.I.A. Secretly Held Qaeda Suspect, Officials Say [5] Mark Mazzetti 15 March 2008
  6. US claims capturing Osama aide [6] 15 March 2008
  7. New 'high-value detainee' arrives at Gitmo [7] Carol Rosenberg 15 March 2008[dead link]
  8. CIA: We Got Bin Laden Translator [8] Jonathon Karl 14 March 2008
  9. Defense Department Takes Custody of High-Value Al Qaeda Operative [9] Jim Garamone 14 March 2008
  10. Al-Qaida operative sent to Guantánamo [10] Josh Meyers, Carol Williams 2008-03-15
  11. The Detainees [11] 2008-11-23 mirror
  12. Guantanamo Docket: Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani [12] Margot Williams 2008-11-03 mirror
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Mullah Omar 'survived missile strikes' [13] 22 January 2002
  14. 14.0 14.1 Memos: CIA pushed limits on sleep deprivation [14] Pamela Hess, Devlin Barrett 2009-08-27

External linksEdit