Malaysian Guantanamo Detainee Receives Review Board Hearing
Tuesday morning, the Guantanamo Periodic Review Board (PRB) convened to consider the case of Mohd Farik Bin Amin, a 41-year-old Malaysian citizen. Amin has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since September of 2006.
The U.S. government asserts that Amin trained at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in 2000 and was “hand-selected” by accused mastermind of the October 2002 Bali bombing Hambali to hijack airplanes and crash them into tall buildings in California. It also maintains that Amin acted as a lieutenant for Hambali and facilitated transfers of funds used in various al Qaeda attacks, including the Bali bombing and an attack on the Marriott hotel in Jakarta in August 2003.
Amin’s government profile notes that he has been a compliant and quiet detainee at Guantanamo, with a low number of infractions. However, the U.S. government believes that he “almost certainly remains committed to al-Qa’ida’s global jihadist ideology” and “probably still considers himself al Qa’ida.” His large network of family members and degree in electronics would allow him to reintegrate into society if he chose, but the government believes his allegiance to al Qaeda would prompt him to reengage.
Amin’s personal representatives also underlined how compliant he has been at Guantanamo, and said that he “has expressed regret and sorrow…in talking about the past.” They explained that he has improved his English skills during his detention, and that he wants to “start a new peaceful life.” They also said that his family in Malaysia stands ready to support him and that he would like to get married and start a family of his own.
Amin had a lawyer at his hearing, but he was not introduced during the unclassified portion, and did not choose to make an opening statement.
Seventy-six detainees remain at Guantanamo, and 32 are cleared for transfer (21 of whom were cleared by the PRB). The cleared detainees should be transferred as soon as possible to further President’s Obama’s effort to close the facility before he leaves office.