Guantánamo Prisoner Returned to Saudi Arabia
Update: Ahmed al Darbi has been returned to his native Saudi Arabia, Saudi state security confirmed today, to serve the rest of his 13-year sentence.
by Christopher Zoukis
Ahmed al Darbi, a 42-year-old Saudi who has been in the custody of U.S. forces for over a decade, may be the ultimate embodiment of Dicken's famous line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
The former al-Qaida terrorist was tortured for years at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and the maximum-security "Camp Five" prison in Guantánamo, Cuba. But four years ago, Darbi agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the U.S. government, and it has been peaches and cream since.
Darbi is accused of being an accomplice in a 2002 al-Qaida attack on a French oil tanker in Yemeni waters. The attack happened after Darbi was captured, and it claimed the life of a Bulgarian crew member.
During a deposition in February 2018, Darbi described his treatment by American authorities after he was captured. He was beaten, sleep deprived, hung by the wrists, threatened with rape, subjected to unwanted rectal "exams," kept nude and forced to clean buckets of feces and urine with his bare hands. According to the Miami Herald, Darbi described one instance in which he cried out for God during a beating, and the American soldier interrogating him pulled out his penis, put it in his face, and said, "This is your God."
That all changed when Darbi agreed to cooperate against the alleged mastermind of the attack, al-Qaida member Abd al Hadi al Iraqi.
Darbi was moved from Camp Five to Camp Echo, an annex of the prison located across the street. He now occupies cabin-style quarters where he can cook meals for his interrogators and attorneys, tend to his garden, game-play on his PlayStation 3 and watch episodes of his favorite show, "Arrested Development."
Darbi described his improved lifestyle in sworn testimony. He now has a freezer stocked with his favorite meats, such as lamb, rabbit, chicken and shrimp. Prison officials also provide him with a hot plate, blender and microwave; cilantro, cumin and cloves to cook with; Strawberries n’ Creme Oreos, baklava, Turkish delight and pecan pie for desert; and workout equipment, including free weights, a spin bike and Under Armour gear.
"Yes, Nike also," said Darbi in court proceedings. "Don't forget that."
According to the Miami Herald, Darbi was scheduled to be released to a Saudi rehabilitation program on February 20, 2018, subject to final approval by diplomats and the Secretary of Defense.
Source: Miami Herald