Al Qaeda Explosives Expert Released From Guantanamo


Judged to be only a “medium risk” to U.S. Troops, recommended for transfer.

Washington Times:   The Obama administration has released one of al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives experts, a man personally praised by Osama bin Laden and who created the shoe-bomb design.

The Pentagon said Thursday that Egyptian Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al Sawah, who may have known of the original Sept. 11 plot, was transferred to the government of Bosnia. Al Sawah fought with the Bosnian army in the early 1990s and eventually made his way toAfghanistan in 2000.

Like other members of al Qaeda, al Sawah began his terrorism career as a member of the secretive Muslim Brotherhood, which is present in the U.S.

Al Sawah’s Guantanamo file reveals a number of chronic medical problems in 2008, when a secret profile was created by Task Force Guantanamo. Now 58, he was listed as “morbidly obese,” and at the time suffered from diabetes, fatty liver disease and chronic pain from spinal cord compression. Prison doctors urged him to get more exercise.

In his terrorism career, he was close to bin Laden and taught classes in explosives at the al Qaeda leader’s Tarnak Farms training camp.

In Afghanistan al Sawah developed a mine to sink U.S. ships and the shoe-bomb prototype that Richard Reid attempted to ignite while on a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001.

Joint Task Force Guantanamo judged al Sawah to be a “medium” risk to U.S. troops and recommended him for transfer.

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