Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi

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Salah al-Balushi is a Bahraini national held as an enemy combatant at the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. He was initially arrested in December 2001 by Pakistani authorities, apparently shortly after entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, and later turned over to the U.S. military. Mr. al-Balushi is about 23 years old, and was a student at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia.

As of 9 June 2005, Salah al-Balushi remained in U.S. detention, and there were no known charges pending against him.

Contents

Salah Abdul Rasul Ali Abdul Rahman Al Balushi

Amnesty International provides the following summary of what is known about the capture of Salah al-Balushi:

"Before the attacks in the US of 11 September 2001, Salah al-Balooshi travelled to Pakistan. His family received a phone call from him in Pakistan saying that he was planning to return to his studies. However after 11 September his family lost contact with him. It was only in January or February 2002 that they discovered, via the internet, that he had been detained in Pakistan. He was subsequently transferred to a prison in Afghanistan. After a Bahraini delegation visited Guantánamo Bay in May/June 2002, it was discovered that Saleh was one of the detainees."

A member of Mr. al-Balushi's family is quoted by Amnesty as saying on the subject of Guantánamo detainees:

"Why don't they have any rights? Even animals have better rights than them. They were put in cages as if they are animals...imagine, why this?"

There is no known evidence which contradicts the allegations made by the U.S. military against Mr. al-Balushi, and no record of Mr. al-Balushi disputing these allegations.

There are no reports that Mr. al-Balushi has been subject to targeted abuse during his detention.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal dossier

On 28 September 2004, the U.S. military held a Combatant Status Review Tribunal for Salah al-Balushi as part of the sixth set of such tribunals which had been convened on 13 September.

According to the unclassified summary of the evidence, Mr. al-Balushi was in touch with at least one al-Qaeda recruiter in Kandahar after arriving in Afghanistan in August 2001, and then later, traveled with an Egyptian al-Qaeda trainer whom he met in Jalalabad. Mr. al-Balushi was then arrested in Pakistan in December 2001 while "fleeing Afghanistan". As the dossier notes, there is nothing in the unclassified evidence to corroborate this story, so the determination of Mr. al-Balushi's status as an enemy combatant relies entirely on the classified portions of the evidence.

Mr. al-Balushi chose not to participate in the tribunal proceedings, and did not request any witnesses called or statements made on his behalf. According to his Personal Representative's notes, Mr. al-Balushi "was asked if he would regret not participating in the Tribunal if he is found to be an [enemy combatant]. He stated he would not."

The tribunal found unanimously that the "preponderance of evidence" showed Mr al-Balushi to meet the definition the of an "enemy combatant" laid out by the Department of Defense, and that "[i]n particular, the Tribunal finds that this detainee is a member of, or affiliated with, Al Qaida forces".

The unclassified portion of Salah al-Balushi's CSRT dossier was obtained by the Associated Press (AP) in May 2005 through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Dossier contents

See also: Description of Combatant Status Review Tribunal dossiers

CSRT Dossier (16 pages)
  U.S. District Court for District of Columbia
  SALAH ABDUL RASUL ALI ABDUL RAHMAN AL BALUSHI, et al., Petitioners 
      v. GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States, et al., Respondents
  Civil Action No. 04-CV-1227 (RBW)
URL: http://wid.ap.org/documents/detainees/salahalbalushi.pdf
Tribunal panel: #6
Format: Standard
Supplemental documents: N/A
Notes:
  Does not include an Exhibit List.


Page   Document                Date          Signatory                   Ref#
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-2    Coversheet              12 Oct 2004   James R. Crisfield Jr.
3      Status Review           11 Oct 2004   J. M. McGarrah
4      Sufficiency Review      08 Oct 2004   James R. Crisfield Jr.
5      Appointing Order        13 Sep 2004   J. M. McGarrah
6      Forwarding Memorandum   30 Sep 2004   David L. Taylor
7      Decision Report                       (tribunal president)
8-10   Unclassified Summary                  (tribunal president)        Encl. 1
11     Election Form           27 Sep 2004   (personal representative)   D-A
N/A    Exhibit List
12-13  Summary of Evidence     23 Sep 2004   (CSRT officer in charge)    R1
14-15  Redaction Request       27 Sep 2004   (FBI Counterterrorism)      R2
16     Representative Review   29 Sep 2004   (personal representative)   Encl. 4


Alternate name spellings

There is no completely standard way (in wide use) of transliterating words from the Arabic alphabet to the Latin alphabet. Thus, the names of people from Arabic-speaking countries often appear in several different forms in different media reports and documents written in languages which use the Latin alphabet.

Variations of Salah al-Balushi's name that have been seen are as follows.

  • Salah Abdul-Rasool Ali Al Baloushi
  • Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi
  • Salah al-Balooshi


Other references

At CagePrisoners:

  • Salah Abdul-Rasool Ali Al Baloushi
  • Bahraini human rights group push to free Guantanamo detainees (9 June 2005)
  • New Push To Free Bahraini Detainees (31 May 2005)
  • Bahraini Detainees May Be Moved (24 April 2005)
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