The 21st Century Phenomenon






Gouled Hassan Dourad was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in 1974. When the Somali civil war erupted in 1991, his parents sent him to Germany where he lived in a refugee camp. Gouled Dourad traveled to Sweden and gained asylum there in 1993. In 1994, he attempted travel to the USA but was turned back on account of his fraudulent passport.


According to American counter-terrorism officials, while in Sweden, Gouled Hassan Dourad attended a Somali mosque, whose imam arranged for Gouled Dourad and his friend, future Itihad al-Islamiya – AIAI bomb maker Qasim Mohamed, to train in Afghanistan before joining the Somali war effort. Itihad al-Islamiya is a Somali group which gave logistic support to the bombing of USA Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, on 08/07/1998 and the Mombasa Paradise attack, on 11/28/2002.


Gouled Dourad was trained at Al Qaeda’s Khalden training camp in weapons and explosives from January through October 1996, and at another camp in Khost in assassination techniques for several months. By late 1996 he returned to Somalia.


Gouled Hassan Dourad became a member of Itihad al-Islamiya – AIAI in 1997 out of a commitment to support the Somali war against Ethiopia and to win the Ogaden region of Ethiopia back to Somalia. Gouled Dourad fought against the Ethiopians in Ogaden off and on from 1997 to 2002 and trained AIAI fighters. In Somalia Gouled Dourad was introduced to Abu Talha al-SUDANI, who came to Mogadishu to hide following the Mombasa Paradise attacks. In early 2003 Gouled Hassan Dourad was recruited to work for al-Sudani, in part, because he had trained in Afghanistan: spoke Arabic, English andsome Swedish and had a high-school education.


According to the United States Director of National Intelligence, Gouled Hassan Dourad was the head of the Mogadishu AIAI group who worked for the East African Al Qaeda operator Abu Talha al-Sudani. Gouled Dourad’s responsibilities included locating safehouses, assisting in the transfer of funds, and procuring weapons, explosives and other supplies.  Gouled Dourad was privy to shooting down an Ethiopian jetliner landing at an airport in Somalia in 2003 and kidnapping Western aid workers in Hargesya, Somalia, in 2002 as a means to raise money for future AIAI operations.


Gouled Hassan Dourad was captured in early 2004 by Somalia’s official security forces and soon after, in the framework of Extraordinary Rendition, transferred to a USA base in nearby Jibouti. Gouled Hassan Dourad arrived at Guantanamo on 09/06/2006. He was considered as one of 16 high-value detainees in Guantanamo.


Following Gouled Dourad’s arrest AIAI tried, on 03/19/2004, unsuccessfully to kidnap aid worker and murdered a Kenyan contract employee in Hargeysa.


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