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Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2016

Former Gitmo prisoner Ibrahim al Qosi confirmed to be al-Qaeda leader, denouncing Saudis

Former Guantanamo Bay and aide for Osama bin Laden has now emerged as a prominent face of al Qaeda, less than three years after being released from the Cuban prison.

The jihadist, Ibrahim al Qosi, denounced the Saudi monarchy and urged young jihadists to travel to Yemen to join the insurgency of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in a new video.

Ibrahim al Qosi

Ibrahim al Qosi

Qosi, 55, delivered a two-part critique of the Saudi monarchy, entitled “A Message to Our People in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques.”

The Muslim terrorist was apprehended in Afghanistan in December, 2001 and subsequently jailed at the US prison complex in Guantanamo Bay. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and providing material support to al Qaeda in 2010 under a plea deal that led to his release two years later.

In July, 2012, al Qosi was transferred to his native Sudan.

“He’s clearly a religious leader in the group,” said Aaron Zelin, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who edits the Jihadology blog.

Obama administration officials did not confirm or deny the apparent case of recidivism, which was first reported on the Long War Journal website Wednesday.

The video included Qosi’s biography and said he joined the jihad in Yemen in December 2014. It also said he was close to bin Laden “until he was imprisoned in Guantánamo in 2001.”

Qosi’s former U.S. attorney, Paul Reichler, told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that he had not been in touch with the Sudanese man since Qosi left the U.S. Navy base prison for Sudan in July 2012.

“I was told by a Sudanese lawyer a year ago that al Qosi was working as a taxi driver in Khartoum,” Reichler said by email. “I have received no information about his activities since then, and I do not know what he has been doing, or where he is living.”

Qosi, an accountant, kept the books for a bin Laden business in Khartoum in the early ’90s, according to Pentagon documents made public by WikiLeaks.

He then followed bin Laden to Afghanistan in 1996. Because the timeline for war crimes only covers the era in Afghanistan, Qosi pleaded guilty to foot-soldier crimes — sometimes driving for bin Laden, working at al-Qaida’s Star of Jihad compound in Jalalabad, and fleeing the post-Sept. 11 U.S. invasion to Tora Bora, armed with an AK-47 rifle.

The AQAP video biography mirrors much of that noting, “he participated in the famous battle of Tora Bora” with bin Laden “until the withdrawal.”


About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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