Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian who was detained at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 until released on October 17, 2016 without ever being charged for a crime. Slahi completed his memoir, Guantánamo Diary, in 2005. The government declassified it in 2015, and the heavily redacted document was published and became an international best seller. The memoir detailed the hardships Slahi was subjected to while imprisoned, including isolation, beatings, temperature extremes, and sexual abuse. Mustafa Balik, the main character of this story, is fictional,as are the events that take place. However, they are inspired by the events described in Guantánamo Diary.
Senate Committee Torture Report
The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program is a report that was compiled by a bipartisan committee on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on prisoners during the War on Terror between 2001 and 2006. The full 6,000-page report remains classified, but an executive summary consisting of key findings was released in 2014. The report concluded that, “ The CIA's use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees,” and, “The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others,” as well as other claims condoning the CIA’s deceptiveness and lack of transparency. The full report summary can be found below.
Millennium LAX Bombing Plot
An Algerian citizen living in Montreal, Canada named Ahmed Ressam was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Port Angeles, Washington on December 14, 1999. Custom officials found a large cache of powerful explosives and timing devices hidden in the trunk of his rented car. After interrogation, Ressam confessed to planning to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve. This was one of several attacks planned on or around January 1st, 2000. Others included a large team in Jordan unsuccessfully planning to bomb several Christian and tourist sites, the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight en route from Nepal to India, and a failed attempt to bomb the USS The Sullivans in Yemen with an explosives-laden boat. The arrest of Ressam launched an FBI investigation across the country, making dozens of arrests and using religious profiling to place hundreds of Muslim Americans under surveillance.
Cognitive impairment similar to someone with a blood-alcohol content of 0.1 percent; judgment, memory, decision making, hand-eye coordination deteriorate
Inflammatory markers enter the bloodstream, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Loss of motivation, severe lapses in memory and concentration
Body begins to shut down for “microsleeps” resulting in episodes similar to blackouts. The person is unaware of the episodes occurring and can fall asleep regardless of the activity they’re currently doing.
Concentration, motivation, perception extremely deteriorated. Simple conversations become very difficult and audio and visual hallucinations can occur.
“Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads. At least five detainees experienced disturbing hallucinations during prolonged sleep deprivation and, in at least two of those cases, the CIA nonetheless continued the sleep deprivation.”
-Page 3 of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program (Senate Torture Report).
This mosque in Montreal is one of the CIA’s ties that link Mohamedou Slahi to terrorist activity. The Al Sunnah Al Nabawiah Mosque was among nine houses of prayer considered by the U.S. to be places of al Qaeda recruitment. Slahi attended this mosque for about a month when he lived in Montreal. It is alleged that while in Canada, Slahi and the Millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam met. Slahi was questioned about Ressam in late December 1999, about two years before he was captured and detained by the U.S. government. No evidence has been released that supports these allegations.