Documents on NCIS & other Department of Defense investigations into detainee deaths at Guantanamo

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Haji Naseem, aka “Inayatullah” (ISN 10028)

Haji Naseem was one of the last detainees to enter Guantanamo. He arrived from Bagram on September 11, 2007. He left in a coffin, having been found hanging in the small recreation pen attached to his cell in Guantanamo’s Camp Echo. The circumstances of his detention, and of his death, have been kept secret for years.

Naseem’s imprisonment at Bagram and Guantanamo, the abuse he suffered at the hands of his U.S. captors, and the circumstances surrounding his imprisonment and, ultimately, his death, are discussed in an article at “The Death of Guantanamo Detainee 10028.”

Below are posted the Army’s AR 15-6 investigation, “Report on the Facts and Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Detainee Haji Naseem (aka Inayatullah) (ISN-10028) at Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) on 18 May 2011.” This report was originally FOIA’d by reporter Jason Leopold, and was released as a result of lawsuit by Leopold over the slow pace of processing documents requested by FOIA from U.S. Southern Command.

I requested the report on February 5, 2019, and it was sent to me a few days later. The report is now in the public domain.

The autopsy reports below were posted by ACLU from its own FOIA of the Department of Defense. Awal Gul’s autopsy was released in the same file as that of Haji Naseem (Inayatullah), and both are posted here. Mr. Gul (ISN 782) died of a presumed heart attack in Guantanamo on February 2, 2011.

The other documents posted were retrieved via PACER, and were filed by Naseem’s attorney in relation to his habeas lawsuit (Naseem v. Obama, et al.), filed July 17, 2009. They are also government documents in the public domain.

The PACER documents include the U.S. government’s “factual return” in response to the habeas filing, interrogation records, intelligence information reports (IIRs), and various other documents, including Naseem’s response to the government’s “factual return,” written by his attorneys and filed after Naseem’s death.

Note: To download documents you must click on the little box with four arrows in the lower left corner of the document viewers below. The document will then open in a full screen. On the right hand side of the window click on “Original document (PDF)” and use “Save as” on your computer to download the document. – In addition, I have added hyperlinks in each subheading to downloadable PDFs of each file.

U.S. Army AR 15-6 report on death of detainee Haji Naseem (aka Inayatullah) (ISN 10028) (PDF)

Autopsy Reports for Haji Naseem (aka Inayatullah, ISN 10028) and Awal Gul (ISN 782) (PDF)

Original Habeas Petition Filing for Haji Naseem (PDF)

U.S. “Factual Return” to Naseem’s Habeas Filing, Part One (PDF)

U.S. “Factual Return” to Naseem’s Habeas Filing, Part Two (PDF)

U.S. “Factual Return” to Naseem’s Habeas Filing, Part Three (PDF)

U.S. “Factual Return” to Naseem’s Habeas Filing, Part Four (PDF)

Haji Naseem (aka Inayatullah) Response to Governments “Factual Return” (PDF)

Court Order Redacting Government’s “Factual Return” (PDF)

NCIS FOIA Release April 2017 – 500+ pages on Al Amri & Al Hanashi Investigations

This FOIA release completes what NCIS is willing to release on my original FOIA request. Portions of the release are still censored, most crucially, pictures of the cell where Al Amri was found dead, and of the air conditioning grating to which he supposedly threaded his ligature-noose. I have filed an appeal for a handful of missing pages, and for the missing relevant pictures.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to digest in this release, including reports from investigators on Al Amri’s cell and the difficulties inherent in concluding he committed suicide, at least unaided. Unfortunately, unlike most of the documents on this site, this particular document is not currently text searchable. Hopefully, in the future I will be able to provide a reworded document that allows for text search.

Documents on Guantanamo as “‘America’s Battle Lab’ in the Global War on Terrorism”

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff 2002 External Review of Guantanamo Intelligence Operations

In May, 2015, I published an article that described the FOIA release of the so-called Custer Report. When the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) published their report, “Inquiry in the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody” in November 2008, Section III was titled, “Guantanamo Bay as a ‘Battle Lab’ for New Interrogation Techniques.”

The quote was taken from a 2002 report commissioned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on intelligence operations at Guantanamo’s new prison for “war on terror” prisoners. Even 14 years after its writing, the mission statement for the report has been classified. But the report also looked at “The existing mechanism that binds DoD and Interagency exploitation efforts,” as well as “The relationship between the DoD and Interagency elements involved in the interrogation process.” One of the primary interagency elements was the CIA; another was the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The SASC report referred to the JSC study as the “Custer report,” naming it after Colonel John P. Custer, then-assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School at Ft. Huachuca, who led the review team for the Joint Chiefs. The report stated, “In his report, COL Custer referred to GTMO as ‘America’s “Battle Lab'” in the global war on terror, observing that ‘our nation faces an entirely new threat framework,’ which must be met by an investment of both human capital and infrastructure.”

Despite the fact the portions of the Custer Report quoted above were not classified in the SASC report, the initial release to my Mandatory Declassification Request bizarrely censored use of the term “Battle Lab” in its 2015 release of the Custer Report or the slides released via MDR request. Evidently, the government was embarrassed by the terminology. Indeed, when others in government heard use of such terminology back in 2002 and 2003, they were alarmed.

The Senate report also documented use of similar characteristic language from two Guantanamo commanders, Major General Mark Dunleavy and Major General Geoffrey Miller.

The SASC quoted the Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITF) chief, Colonel Britt Mallow, who provided written testimony to the Senate committee:

MG Dunlavey and later MG Miller referred to GTMO as a “Battle Lab” meaning that interrogations and other procedures there were to some degree experimental, and their lessons would benefit DOD in other places. While this was logical in terms of learning lessons, I personally objected to the implied philosophy that interrogators should experiment with untested methods, particularly those in which they were not trained.

Mallow’s deputy, Mark Fallon, concurred, telling the SASC, “CITF did not concur with the Battle Lab concept because the task force ‘did not advocate the application of unproven techniques on individuals who were awaiting trials…. there were many risks associated with this concept… and the perception that detainees were used for some ‘experimentation’ of new unproven techniques had negative connotations.”

On September 22, 2016, the Department of Defense responded to my appeal of the first FOIA release, and restored the parts of the document and accompanying slide presentation that used the words “America’s Battle Lab” in reference to operations at Guantanamo, and offered display of some new material. These newly released and somewhat less censored documents — there are still large portions of the documents that are redacted — are reproduced below.

Readers who wish to download documents should click on the box in the bottom left corner of each displayed document. This will take you to “full-screen mode” and the document is downloadable from the new window which then opens.

September 10, 2002 Briefing Slides: “GTMO Review, Joint Staff External Review of Intelligence Operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”

Documents on 2006 Guantanamo “Suicides”

The documents on this page are a few of many posted at the Department of Defense Reading Room page on “Detainee-related” materials. The two documents here are from the Staff Judge Advocates office investigation into the deaths of three detainees on June 1, 2006 at Guantanamo. The first document is essentially a reprint of the Army’s AR 15-6 report on the 2006 deaths, as pertinent to the discussion of DIMS and detainee headcounts, as discussed in Chapter Two of Cover-up at Guantanamo. The second document is a compendium of various materials, including a number of interviews conducted by NCIS investigators.

For the full set of detainee-related documents on the 2006 deaths, see this link.

U.S. Army’s AR 15-6 Report on 2006 Detainee Deaths

Staff Judge Advocate Materials on Investigation into 2006 Suicides

Abdul Rahman Al Amri

NCIS Investigation File on Abdul Rahman Al Amri

(Readers who wish to download documents should click on box in the bottom left corner of each displayed document. This will take you to “full-screen mode” and the document is downloadable from the new window that opens.)

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Autopsy and Toxicology Reports on Abdul Rahman Al Amri

Mohammed Salih Al Hanashi

NCIS Investigation File on Mohammed Salih Al Hanashi

(Readers who wish to download documents should click on box in the bottom left corner of each displayed document. This will take you to “full-screen mode” and the document is downloadable from the new window that opens.)

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Autopsy Report for Mohammed Salih Al Hanashi

Adnan Farhan Abd Latif

Currently there are 10 sets of documents on this webpage, which I divide into three sections:

1) The U.S. Army’s AR 15-6 report on the death of Adnan Latif

2) the Force Protection Report and subsequent High Priority Emails sent to Col. John Bogdan, the commander of Guantanamo’s Joint Detention Group (the guard force) on September 7, 2012, warning that Latif “might commit suicide.” He in fact did die, ostensibly by suicide, in the early morning hours the next day.

3) A new set of documents that consist of “exhibits” and documents associated with the AR 15-6 report. These includes witness statements, some disciplinary reports, and other documentary material. Some of these documents are of high interest, such as the witness statement from Latif’s psychologist. Other documents look promising but offer very little, such as the ICRC messages Latif wrote to relatives, which are totally censored.

(Readers who wish to download documents should click on box in the bottom left corner of each displayed document. This will take you to “full-screen mode” and the document is downloadable from the new window that opens.)

The AR-15-6 report

You can also view the document above online at this link
An alternate form of the report can be accessed here: Latif-AR-15-6-Report (Plain Text)

Below is a FOIA release (dated November 21, 2016) of the Force Protection Report and subsequent High Priority Email sent to Col. John Bogdan, the commander of Guantanamo’s Joint Detention Group (the guard force) at the time of Latif’s death. The email warned that Latif “might commit suicide.” A “Collectors Comment” added to the Force Protection report states that Latif “was tasked to commit suicide with” Mohammad Al Hanashi in June 2009. No evidence of such a tasking has ever been released or otherwise noted, though it is worth noting that Behavioral Health Unit personnel were evidently told that Al Hanashi himself thought he was supposed to die with the three detainees who all supposedly committed suicide (or were killed) in 2006. Camp authorities back in 2006 characterized the three deaths as a joint suicide. Thus a pattern of indicating links between the various suicides was perpetuated at least within the Guantanamo camp.

Force Protection Report and subsequent High Priority Emails (September 7, 2012)

FOIA Bogdan High Priority Email (PDF)

FOIA Bogdan High Priority Email (Text)
You can also view the document above online at this link

NEW! AR 15-6 Exhibits and related documents

Below are a number of files containing hundreds of pages of supporting documentation to the Army’s AR 15-6 report on the death of Adnan Latif (which can be accessed higher up on this page). The files were released over the past three years, subsequent to FOIA requests by reporter Jason Leopold and myself. All files here were sent to me by SOUTHCOM upon my request. There are many new revelations in these documents, too many to enumerate here. It’s my hope that journalists, researchers and human rights workers will find much to interest them in these documents.

If you cannot access or see the documents below, you can find them all at this link:

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part One

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Two

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Three

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Four

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Five

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Six

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Seven 9 (includes the written statement by the Chief Psychologist)

AR 15-6 Exhibits Part Eight

AR 15-6 Exhibit 59 – Latif ICRC Messages

23 Oct 12 Interview With A Detainee Witness

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