– EX-GITMO ABDUL QAYYUM LEADS THE TALIBAN IN HELMAND
According to the officials Abdul Qayyum was given charge of the military campaign in the south about 14 months ago, soon after his release in late 2008 from the Afghan jail to which he had been transferred from Guantanamo in 12/12/2007.
Abdul Qayyum is close to the Taliban’s spiritual leader Mullah Omar and seen as a leading candidate to be the next No. 2 in the Afghan Taliban hierarchy, after the capture of Mullah Baradar in Karachi, Pakistan, on 02/08/2010.
The house of Abdul Qayyum was raided about two weeks ago in Quetta, Pakistan, and three assistants were arrested but he escaped. A week ago he was seen in Pishin, a Pakistani border town about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Quetta, the official said.
Abdul Qayyum’s key aide in plotting attacks on Afghan and NATO-ISAF is another former Guantanamo prisoner, known as Abdul Rauf Aliza. Abdul Rauf, 29, (no. 108 in Guantanamo), who told his U.S. interrogators he had only loose connections to the Taliban, spent time in an Afghan jail before being freed in 2009 and rejoined the Taliban. Like Abdul Qayyum he was also transferred to Afghanistan on 12/12/2007.
Like Abdul Qayyum, Abdul Rauf is from Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. During the Taliban’s rule, which ended in late 2001, Abdul Rauf was a senior commander in the western province of Herat and in the Afghan capital, Kabul (see also the story of Abdul-Hafiz).
Abdul Qayyum was a Taliban commander in the 1990s, was notorious for brutality and summary executions. He was captured in the 2001 Absolute Justice operation in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo. According to interrogation transcripts, he identified himself to his American captors by his father’s name, Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, and said he had been conscripted by the Taliban but left at the first opportunity.
USA intelligence asserts that 20% of suspects released from the Guantanamo Bay prison have returned to the fight and the number has been steadily increasing (see – Gitmo-the end).
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