Thursday, March 24, 2011

District Court Denies Habeas for Guantanamo Detainee

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday released a redacted version of Judge Leon's November 2010 opinion denying habeas relief for Guantanamo detainee Obaydullah.  Judge Leon today rejected Obaydullah's motion for reconsideration.

The government argued that Obaydullah was "part of" an al Qaeda "bomb cell" based upon evidence it obtained during a raid of Obaydullah's home and its own pre-raid intelligence.  (The government declined to disclose the source of the intelligence.)  Evidence included 23 anti-tank mines, a notebook with instructions and wiring diagrams for how to build a remote-control IED, and an automobile that contained dried blood and Taliban propaganda.  Information based upon pre-raid intelligence was largely, if not entirely, redacted from Judge Leon's opinion. 

Judge Leon ruled that the evidence corroborated pre-raid intelligence and that it was more likely than not that Obaydullah was part of an al Qaeda bomb cell:

However, the combination of the explosives, the notebook instructions and the automobile with dried blood all fit together to corroborate the intelligence sources placing both the petitioner and Bostan at the scene aiding fellow bomb cell members who had been accidentally injured while constructing an IED.  Additionally [redacted] serve to further corroborate the credibility of the government's intelligence source linking Obaydullah to the al Qaeda bomb cell.  Thus, combining all of this evidence and corroborated intelligence, the mosaic that emerges unmistakenly supports the conclusion that it is more likely than not that petitioner Obaydullah was in fact a member of an al Qaeda bomb cell committed to the destruction of U.S. and Allied forces.  As such, he is being lawfully detained under the AUMF and this Court must, and will, therefore DENY his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.


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