In June 2014, the Obama Administration released six terrorists from Guantanamo Bay after Uruguay agreed to take them. Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab was one of the six released to a house on Maldonado Street in Montevideo, Uruguay. Jihad Dhiab not long ago decided to flee Montevideo for Brazil. Maybe he wanted to beat the rush next month to Rio for the Olympic Games. Maybe he wanted to travel to the Tri-Border region, a lawless area of South America known for harboring terrorists, criminals and smugglers. Maybe he wanted to return to Syria to appeal the conviction and death sentence he received in absentia for terrorist activities when he fled Syria for Afghanistan in 2000. Today, law enforcement officers in Brazil are attempting to locate Jihad Dhiab.
During Dhiab’s time at Guantanamo Bay he was deemed to be a high risk, who posed a threat to the United States, its interests and allies. How a terrorist like Jihad Dhiab goes from being assessed and recommended for “continued detention” to actually being released is another story. But a campaign promise by President Obama to close Guantanamo Bay weighs more heavily than risks posed to Americans by terrorists held there. At the very least Jihad Dhiab should have been charged and tried.
Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, a Syrian citizen was an expert forger who was part of a Syrian terrorist cell. The cell provided support for members of Abu Zubaydah’s global network and Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The leader of the Damascus terrorist cell was Sulayman Khalid Darwish. Darwish was the uncle of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq which later became the Islamic State. In July 2000, Syrian Intelligence officials arrested 15 members of this cell forcing the rest of the cell to flee to Afghanistan. Dhiab fled to Afghanistan and was sentenced to death in absentia for his terrorist activities in Syria. Dhiab also has ties to numerous other noted terrorists to include the September 11th recruiter Muhammad Zammar, Muhammad Yaqub, Ali Muhammad Abdul Aziz al-Fakhri (Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi) and Abu Zur al-Tunisi among others.
Dhiab’s forgery activities supported Abu Zubaydah’s global terrorist network since the mid 1990’s. While in Afghanistan, Dhiab received training at Al-Qaeda’s al-Faruq camp near Kandahar City. Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, an Al-Qaeda paymaster listed Jihad Dhiab as an operative and provided an additional stipend for Dhiab’s four children. With the fall of the Taliban in December 2001, Dhiab fled Afghanistan like so many Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters seeking refuge in Pakistan. Nur Zaman, the Al-Qaeda facilitator provided a residence in Lahore for Dhiab and his family.
On April 1, 2002, Dhaib was captured during a raid by Pakistani Police in Lahore at a safe house along with Abdul Haddi Bin Hadiddi, Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani and Abdullah Bin Omar. Dhiab was transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was for twelve years before being released to Uruguay.
Dhiab was trained at Al-Qaeda’s Al-Faruq terrorist training camp, he provided material support to Abu Zubaydah and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was paid by an Al-Qaeda paymaster, provided housing by an Al-Qaeda facilitator and arrested in a safe house with other terrorists. And yet we have released this terrorist-maybe I am missing something.
Maybe Dhiab didn’t like the free housing he was given in Montevideo or the $600 per month in financial support he was receiving. Offered a job, he and the other released terrorists refused the offer to work souring feelings with some union officials in the Uruguay capital. A person who provides material support (i.e. forged documents) to a terrorist group like Jihad Dhiab is as much as a terrorist as the members of an execution cell. Hopefully, the Brazilian Police will be able to locate this released terrorist before he creates another headline.