Monday, May 11, 2009

The Fate Of One Ex-Gitmo Prisoner: Death

As the Obama administration prepares to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo, there are concerns raised by some about where all the prisoners may end up.

In fact, there are dire predictions in the blogosphere that their ultimate destination may be Main Street USA. But the case of one prisoner who was held in Guantanamo - then transferred out - didn't have him waiting in line at the local ice cream store with the rest of us.

The name Ali Mohamed Al-Fakheri, also known as Ibn E-Sheikh El-Libi, may have little significance to you. But he was the senior al-Qaeda prisoner who tied the terrorist group to Iraq in the days leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of that country. Some say the information was forced from him by torture and, they argue, therefore inaccurate.

Al-Fakheri, who was arrested in 2001 while trying to cross the Afghan-Pakistan border, was initially held at Guantanamo. But in 2006, he was sent to Libya. Not to roam the streets of that nation - but to languish in a prison there on a life sentence.

A Libyan newspaper is now reporting that al-Fakheri is dead. According to the newspaper, he committed suicide.

It should be noted that Libya is requesting that nine Libyan nationals still held at Gitmo be transferred to their custody.

The al-Fakheri death gives an unusual glimpse into what really happens to terrorism suspects around the world. We talk, with a degree of concern and sometimes self righteousness, about the conditions prisoners at Gitmo face. But those who end up in the custody of other nations where prisoners have no human rights after leaving Guantanamo may very well be leaving the frying pan for the fire.

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