At 1 am in the morning of October 23 or 24, 2001, in a dark, empty corner of the Karachi airport, Pakistan handed, Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, over to U.S. officials. Mohammed was shackled and blindfolded. A Pakistani newspaper reported that he had been "missing since the start of October" from Karachi University, where he was studying microbiology.
Mohammed is Yemeni, and was a suspect in the U.S.S. Cole bombing.
The U.S. flew him to Amman, Jordan on a private Gulfstream jet (which you may hear more about in a subsequent post) with the registration number N379P.
He hasn't been seen since. Amnesty International has asked the U.S. where he is and what his legal status is, but gotten no reply. According to the 2001 State Department human rights report for Jordan, prisoners there made allegations of “methods of torture include sleep deprivation, beatings on the soles of the feet, prolonged suspension with ropes in contorted positions, and extended solitary confinement.”
1. Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Peter Finn, "U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of Terror Suspects," Washington Post, March 11, 2002.
In October, for instance, a Yemeni microbiology student wanted in connection with the bombing of the USS Cole was flown from Pakistan to Jordan on a U.S.-registered Gulfstream jet after Pakistan's intelligence agency surrendered him to U.S. authorities at the Karachi airport, Pakistani government sources said. The hand-over of the shackled and blindfolded student, Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, who was alleged to be an al Qaeda operative, occurred in the middle of the night at a remote corner of the airport without extradition or deportation procedures, the sources said.
2. Alissa Rubin, "Pakistan Hands Over Man in Terror Probe," Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2001.
The man, who authorities confirmed was named Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, was detained and deported to the U.S. in connection with America's terrorism investigation.
"This is not unusual. Over the last six months, many people have been deported if they had false documents or suspect links with terrorist organizations in African and Middle Eastern countries," a military intelligence source said....
Mohammed was handed over to the United States under cover of night. The transfer took place about 1 a.m. Tuesday and involved masked U.S. officers, according to witnesses at the Karachi airport.
The plane was parked in a dark and isolated area of the terminal, according to witnesses, and military sources confirmed that special arrangements were made for the man's deportation.
The plane arrived from Amman, Jordan, and headed back there after picking up the detainee. A private company was used to service the U.S. aircraft rather than national airport authorities....
The deported man was a student of Yemeni origin who went to Karachi in 1993 and was a student there, according to local reporters. Karachi is a large city on the Arabian sea in southern Pakistan.
He stopped showing up for classes in early October. Shortly before he disappeared, the Interior Ministry requested all information about him from the university.
3. Masood Anwar, "Mystery Man Handed Over to US Troops in Karachi," The News International (Pakistan), October 26, 2001. Full text available at this link from FreeRepublic of all places.
Pakistani authorities handed over a 'suspected foreigner' to the US authorities in a mysterious way in the early hours of Tuesday and there are strong suspicions that he was an Arab student of the Karachi University, with connections to some infamous wanted organisation. A Falcon aircraft owned by the US air force landed at Karachi airport at around 1 am and was parked in a remote, dark and isolated area at the old terminal, a source at the Karachi airport disclosed told The News.
The aircraft having registration numbers N-379 P arrived from Amman and departed at 2.40 am for the same destination, he said. "I cannot tell you about the nationality and identification of the person handed over to the US men. The entire operation was so mysterious that all persons involved in the operation, including US troops, were wearing masks," he said. A masked US trooper was also making a video film of the entire operation.
A private service company at the Karachi airport, Chemic Aviation, provided the airport services to the US aircraft. The 'wanted person' handed over to the US forces was not a Pakistani national as the man was addressed as a deportee. No one in the Civil Aviation Authority and Airport Security Force knew the details of the operation. Everything was kept in secret and operated by an agency, sources said...
The most likely possibility is that an Arab student of Microbiology Department of Karachi University, who has been missing since the start of October, could be the man deported. Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammad belonged to Taiz, a city of Yemen. He came to Karachi in 1993 from Sana'a. Just before he went missing, Interior Ministry had asked the University administration to send all the information about him. His connections with any terrorist organisation or if and why he was deported, could not be confirmed from official sources.
4. U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Jordan," 2001.
5. Amnesty International, "United States America: The Threat of a Bad Example," August 19, 2003.
See p. 32:
"Amnesty first raised the case of Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed with U.S. authorities in April 2002. It has received no reply and does not know his whereabouts or if he is in detetnion.