Kenyan among the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees

Guantanamo Bay

This file image reviewed by the US military shows the guard tower of "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on January 19, 2012.
 

Photo credit: Jim Watson | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The 48-year-old was arrested by Kenyan police in February 2007 on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaeda and taking part in the 2002 raids against Paradise Hotel and an Israeli plane in Mombasa.

Kenyan Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu is among the remaining detainees at the US-run prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Though the latest periodic review determined that “no significant question is raised as to whether his continued detention is warranted”, Bajabu remains incarcerated. His detention number is ISN 10025.

Past periodic reviews have returned the same verdict. Before the February 10 review, his status had also been looked at on August 20, 2020, according to documents regarding the Guantanamo detainees published by the US Defence’s Periodic Review Secretariat.

With every favourable review, Bajabu can petition the US government to free him. However, he may not leave the much-maligned detention centre soon.

American authorities say Bajabu’s detention is necessary “to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States”.

The Sunday Nation was not able to get a comment from the Ministry of Interior as we were told Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho were in Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties respectively.

Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu, the only Kenyan at Guantanamo Bay.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

At one of the review meetings, Bajabu’s representatives pleaded for his release, saying he needs to be reunited with his family.

From the documents seen by Nation.Africa, the detainee at one time indicated that he wished to be taken to an Arab-speaking country, meaning he does not wish to return to Kenya.

“He has also agreed to participate in any rehabilitation or reintegration that may be required. Bajabu longs to get on with his life...and is ready to reconnect with his wife and children,” his personal representative told the periodic review board in 2016.

“He looks forward to seeing his siblings and meeting members of his family who were born during his detention.”

The statement added that Bajabu “has been... compliant...and has gained a sense of achievement by being a camp cook for fellow detainees”.

The 48-year-old was arrested by Kenyan police in February 2007 on suspicion of belonging to al-Qaeda and taking part in the 2002 raids against Paradise Hotel and an Israeli plane in Mombasa.

The Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers said they found Bajabu with a piece of paper containing contact information of his associates, including some in the United Kingdom.

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