The 21st Century Phenomenon


Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was born in the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar in the early 70s’. As a teenager he was under the influence of a Muslim traveling preacher – “Tabligh” – in Zanzibar.  

It is unclear how and when Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was recruited to Al Qaeda but he was the bombing expert of the 08/07/1998 attack on USA embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to Tanzanian authority he bought the truck that carried the bomb used in the Dar el-Salaam attack, in which 11 people died. His associates in the attack: Mohammed Saddiq Odeh and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, who were captured days after the attack, revealed in their investigation that Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani also obtained oxygen and acetylene tanks used to enhance the force of the explosion.  The days before the 08/07/1998 attack Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani stayed in a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. He left Kenya to Karachi, Pakistan on 08/06/1998, a day before the attack, with Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah. In Pakistan Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani married an Uzbek Muslim wife.

In Late 2001 Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani traveled to Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa, with another suspect in the embassy bombings, a Kenyan man Fazul Abdullah Mohammed. The UK’s Observer newspaper reported in 2002 that the two men allegedly ran a lucrative Al Qaeda financing operation, trading illegal “blood diamonds” for cash.

Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani used many nicknames and his name appears in at least seven foiled terror attacks all over the world. The last possible foiled plot, related to the Summer 2004 Alert , associated him with Adam Yahiye Gadahn and was scheduled, according to FBI, to the summer or fall of 2004. 

Naeem Noor Khan arrest on 07/13/2004 and the e-mail connections from his computer led on   07/25/2004 to the arrest of Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani in Pakistan along with his Uzbek wife. He was handed over to the USA at the beginning of 2005.

Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was kept in a CIA secret prison up to 09/2006 (probably al-Jaafar prison in the Jordanian desert) and than transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he is today (06/2007).  In his investigation Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani admitted delivering explosives used to blow up the US embassy in Tanzania in 08/07/1998. Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani also admitted visiting an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan after the 08/07/1998 bombings, though he denied being a member of Al Qaeda.

In accordance with Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo by 02/2010 (see – Gitmo-the end ),  Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was transferred from Guantanamo to New York, on Tuesday  06/09/2009 to face USA federal court on terror and murder charges (see – Abebes Ruling  ).

* A federal New York jury acquitted Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani, on Wednesday 11/17/2010, of 284 counts related to his alleged involvement in Al Qaeda terrorism. But Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was found guilty in a single conspiracy charge for his role in the 08/07/1998 attacks, in Kenya and Tanzania. He is facing a possible minimum of 20 years in prison (see – Khalfans Acquittal ).

Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani is the first Guantánamo detainee to be transferred to the US for a civilian trial. It was seen a test case by administration officials to clear the way for similar civilian trials for other Al Qaeda terror suspects – including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaik Mohammed (see – Holders NY Decision) and a major  setback for Obama’s administration plan to judge senior al Qaeda members in civilian trial in USA giving the circumstances of their arrest (see – US-DEBATE ).

Ahmed  Khalfan Ghailani was sentenced, on Tuesday 01/25/2011, for the lone count he was found guilty, conspiracy charge for his role in the 07/08/1998 attacks, to life imprisonment.

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