Abdul Hadi al Iraqi

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Nashwan Abdulbaqi

Senior al-Qaeda member
Born 1961
Mosul, Iraq
Other names Abdul Hadi al Iraqi

Abdul Hadi al Iraqi (عبد الهادي العراقي) is the nom de guerre of Nashwan Abdulrazaq Abdulbaqi (نشوان عبد الرزاق عبد الباقي), an alleged senior member of al-Qaeda[1][2][3] who is now in US custody at Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.[4][5][6]

Early life

An ethnic Kurd, al-Iraqi was born in northern Mosul in 1961.[5] He speaks Arabic, Urdu, Kurdish, the Waziri tribal dialect of Pashtu and a courtly form of Persian.[7] He served in the Iraqi Army and was promoted to a Major.[8] Then he travelled to Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion.[9]

Alleged terrorism activities

According to information about him provided by the Pentagon, Mr Hadi was a key paramilitary commander in Afghanistan during the late 1990s, before taking charge of cross-border attacks against US and coalition troops from 2002 to 2004. He was accused of commanding attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, and of involvement in plots to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Following the American invasion in 2001, he clashed with Ahmed Khadr arguing that front line battle would prove more useful than guerilla tactics around Shagai, Pakistan.[9]

He had been wanted in Iraq since at least February 2005.[10] The most recent U.S. State Department wanted poster[1] said

The Newsweek article[7] claimed that al Iraqi brokered a 2005 reconciliation between Osama bin Laden and Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.[7] Newsweek asserted that bin Laden had failed to anticipate the strength of the Iraqi's anti-occupation resistance, and that he dispatched al Iraqi to take charge of establishing an al-Qaeda presence in the resistance. Newsweek asserted that Zarqawi had left a bad impression on his fellow veterans of the struggle to evict the Soviet invaders, and that bin Laden didn't trust him. However, al Iraqi recommended that al Qaeda would be better served by naming Zarqawi the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq than by trying to compete with him for volunteers and establish a parallel effort — explaining the reconciliation.

It was reported in January 2002 that someone with the same pseudonyms Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi and Abu Abdullah had been captured in Afghanistan.[11] That person was also described as a training camp commander. But despite these coincidences, the two suspects are now known to be distinct people.

Despite the report that Abdul-Hadi spoke several regional languages, several of the charges against Abdul Zahir stem from him serving as a translator for Abdul-Hadi.[12]

A captured letter[13] dated 13 June 2002, and thought to be from Saif al-Adel, mentions an Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi who is quite senior in al-Qaeda and is at large (probably in Afghanistan) at the time of that writing. The US DoD statement says that Abdul-Hadi "during 2002-04, was in charge of cross-border attacks in Afghanistan" and that prior to his capture he "was trying to return to his native country, Iraq, to manage al-Qai`da's affairs and possibly focus on operations outside Iraq against Western targets".


On 27 April 2007 it was reported that Abdul Hadi Al-Iraqi was in custody in Guantanamo Bay.[14] He was previously held by the CIA. The BBC reported that US sources told them Al-Iraqi was arrested "late last year".[15]

On September 6, 2006 US President George W. Bush officially confirmed that the CIA maintained a secret network of offshore interrogation camps, when he announced that fourteen "high value detainees" had been transferred to Guantanamo.[16]

Bush claimed that the transfer of these fourteen men had emptied the CIA's secret interrogation camps.[16] Critics pointed out that Bush had not announced the closure of the camps. The date of Al-Iraqi's capture has not been made known. It is not clear whether Al-Iraqi entered the CIA's network of secret interrogation camps before or after Bush's announcement.


Habeas corpus petition

Al Iraqi has had a writ of habeas corpus filed on his behalf.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wanted poster on Abdulbaqi, Rewards for Justice Program, US Department of State
  2. Alleged Qaeda Member Faces Tribunal, CBS News, 4 April 2006
  3. Iraqi Government releases ’41 Most Wanted’ list, Multi-National Force - Iraq, 3 July 2006
  4. Defense Department Takes Custody of a High-Value Detainee, United States Department of Defense, 27 April 2007
  5. 5.0 5.1 Biographical notes on Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (USA)
  6. Man Said to Be Bin Laden Aide Detained by U.S. New York Times 27 April 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Terror Broker, Newsweek, 11 April 2006
  8. O'Neill, Sean; Tim Reid and Michael Evans (28 April 2007). "7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq". London: Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1717571.ece. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Shephard, Michelle, "Guantanamo's Child", 2008.
  10. Press release, United States Central Command, 11 February 2005 Archived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. One of various reports of capture in 2002
  12. Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Zahir's Combatant Status Review Tribunal pages 1-8
  13. Al-Adl letter to Mukhtar, English translation by United States Military Academy
  14. "Pentagon: Top al Qaeda leader taken to Guantanamo". CNN. April 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/27/al.qaeda.gitmo/index.html. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  15. "US holds 'senior al-Qaeda figure'". BBC News Online. 2007-04-27. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6600751.stm. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Pentagon holds key al Qaida figure in Guantanamo". Xinhua. April 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-04/28/content_6037744.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  17. Thomas F. Hogan (2009-02-27). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 1656 -- RESPONDENTS’ STATUS REPORT AND MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE FACTUAL RETURNS AND LEGAL JUSTIFICATION". United States Department of Justice. http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2008mc00442/131990/1656/0.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 

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