Thomas Joscelyn wrote an excellent article yesterday in the Weekly Standard that points to the first casualty of the Boumediene decision with the ruling that Huzaifa Parhat is NOT a enemy combatant. This now forces the US to either release him, transfer him to another country, or give him another tribunal.
The left and the MSM insist in believing Parhats story that he just got “caught up” in a big net after 9/11 inside Afghanistan but as Thomas points out, there is ample evidence to show us that he is not the innocent little lamb the NYT’s wishes us to believe he is:
According to the DOD, 22 citizens of China have been detained at Gitmo. Five of them have been released, but 17 of them remain at Gitmo. Like Parhat, all of these men are Uighurs, that is, natives of China’s Xinjiang region, or East Turkestan, as Uighurs call it. The Uighurs, who have been oppressed by various Chinese policies, have been fighting for their independence for decades. And given the deplorable human rights record of the Chinese regime, they have won at least some international support for their efforts.
Not all Uighur separatists are created equal though. A minority of them in the early 1980s formed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a separatist group rooted in radical Islamic ideology and dedicated to jihad. And by the early 1990s, the ETIM had become a significant fighting force with a presence throughout Central and South Asia. It was only a matter of time before the ETIM’s members would cross paths with their Arab and Afghan ilk.
By the late 1990s, Hasan Mahsum, the ETIM’s leader, began mingling with Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda’s CEO reportedly gave Mahsum $300,000–although, this claim may come from the Chinese government, which is not always the most honest broker of information. However, we know for certain that bin Laden gave Mahsum’s forces training space inside Afghanistan. In particular, the ETIM opened a training camp at Tora Bora.
And that is where Parhat was in October 2001 when, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, American forces bombarded the ETIM’s Tora Bora training camp. The bombings sent the Uighurs, including Parhat, scrambling to Pakistan where they were arrested. During his tribunal session at Gitmo, Parhat admitted that he attended the ETIM’s Tora Bora camp from June 2001 until the bombing began. During those months, he admitted to being trained in the use of small arms, including the Kalashnikov rifle and a pistol.
That last point has already been proven to be a lie. There is ample evidence to indicate that the ETIM and AQ have more then just a passing acquaintance:
For example, as terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna rightly noted in an interview earlier this year:
We have seen that al Qaeda and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement have released a number of statements and videos where ETIM is training in al Qaeda camps with their instructors. Hasan Mahsum, the leader of ETIM, was killed in South Waziristan–the area that al Qaeda was operating in 2003–by the Pakistani forces. There have been a number of ETIM members arrested in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are working very [closely] with Al-Qaeda. Abu [Zubaydah], the operations chief for Al-Qaeda, met with Uighur radical groups entering Pakistan. The relationship between the two is very strong.
Former Indian intelligence officer B. Raman has similarly explained the relationship between the ETIM and al Qaeda. Raman has written that the ETIM “is a major component of the terrorist network headed by bin Laden” throughout South and Central Asia. Raman further claims:
Hasan Mahsum, the ETIM ringleader, used to hide in Kabul and had an Afghan passport issued by the Taliban. Bin Laden asked the ETIM to stir up trouble in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then stage an organized infiltration into Xinjiang. The “Turkistan Army” under the ETIM fought along with the Taliban in Afghanistan. This “Army” has a special “China Battalion” with about 320 terrorists from Xinjiang. The battalion is under the direct command of Hasan Mahsum’s deputy Kabar.
The Times’s editorial noted that supporters of Parhat and his fellow Uighur detainees “maintain that they were captured by mistake and had no hostile intentions toward the United States.” This is a common defense of the ETIM-associated detainees at Gitmo. They are supposedly only interested in targeting the Chinese regime, so the U.S. should look the other way.
But as disgusting as the Chinese regime’s human rights record is, there is no moral equivalency between legitimate opposition and terrorists who seek to hijack their cause. Osama bin Laden’s grand vision was to unite terrorist groups around the world by bringing nationalist, ethnic and other sectarian groups under the banner of his jihad. Bin Laden and al Qaeda were at least partially successful in this endeavor in Algeria, Somalia, Chechnya, Bosnia, Southeast Asia, South and Central Asia, as well as Iraq. There is every indication that he was successful in incorporating the ETIM into his global designs as well. Moreover, it is not true that the ETIM targets only Chinese interests. As Raman points out, the group has also “fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Uzbekistan” among other locations. ETIM trainees may profess a lack of hostility towards the United States, but once allied with al Qaeda, there is no telling where they may be asked to wage jihad.
Ok, so lets see. This guy was a member of a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda and was training at one of their camps inside Afghanistan before, during, and after 9/11. Their members have been caught and killed alongside al-Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Uzbekistan.
And this guy wants us to believe that he was just on a vacation to train a bit so he could go fight the Chinese government?
Well, it appears a few liberal judges believed him and now he will most likely be released to fight alongside AQ again.
Justice Kennedy should be proud.
Check out the interview of Justice Scalia here for some of his thoughts on their decision. Quite interesting.