Sunday, July 05, 2009

Abdullah Gulam Rasoul aka Abdul Zakir Sprung from Gitmo in 2007 now leads Taliban in Afghanistan against US Marines with 60 other former Gitmo pals.

Abdullah Gulam Rasoul aka Abdul Qayum Zakir Sprung from Gitmo in 2007 now leads Taliban in southern Afghanistan against US Marines with 60 other former Gitmo pals.

Abdul Qayum Zakir, also known as Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, is from Helmand Province and has taken a circuitous route to become head of the radical Taliban Islamic group.

Zakir was a senior fighter during the Taliban regime in the 1990s. In a memorandum prepared for his administrative review board at Guantanamo, Zakir apparently "felt it would be fine to wage jihad against Americans, Jews, or Israelis if they were invading his country."
And he acknowledged that he was called to fight jihad in approximately 1997," when he joined the Taliban.

In 2001, he surrendered to US and Afghan forces in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif as the regime was collapsing. He spent the next several years in custody, was transferred to Guantanamo around 2006, then to Afghanistan government custody in late 2007, and was eventually released around May 2008. American officials won't say why he was let go and have not released a photograph of him.

Zakir wasted little time rekindling his relationship with the Taliban, especially its inner shura, or leadership council, based in Pakistan. According to some accounts, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar appointed Zakir as a senior military commander in mid-2008.

He quickly developed a reputation as a charismatic leader. Abdullah Gulam Rasoul alias Mullah Abdullah Zakir, is a citizen of Afghanistan previously held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.

His Guantanamo Internee Security Number is 008. JTF-GTMO analysts estimate he was born in 1973, in Helmand, Afghanistan.On March 9, 2009, the Department of Defense reported that he had emerged as a Taliban leader following his release.

The Times reports that he had been transferred from US custody in Guantanamo to Afghan custody in the American built wing of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials.

The officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to release the information, said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields.

Bill Warnerprivate investigator