'Abd Al-Hadi Al Iraqi

Nashwan Abdulbaqi
Alleged Senior al-Qaeda member
Born1961 (age 60–61)
Mosul, Iraq
Detained atGuantanamo
Alternate nameAbdul Hadi al Iraqi
StatusWas previously held in the CIA's black sites

Abdul Hadi al Iraqi (Arabic: 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] The U.S. government alleges the man they have in custody is Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, but he claims his name is Nashwan al-Tamir.[7] It is expected that this will be explored in the current Military Commissions proceedings.

Early life[]

Al-Iraqi was born in Mosul in 1961[5] and is ethnically Kurdish[citation needed]. He speaks Arabic, Urdu, the Waziri tribal dialect of Pashtu and a courtly form of Persian.[8] He served in the Iraqi Army, and fought for Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War.[9][10] Then he travelled to Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion.[11]

Alleged terrorism activities[]

According to information about him provided by the Pentagon, 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.[11]

Al-Iraqi was alleged to have managed the Ashara guest house, in Kabul's diplomatic district, from where he was alleged to command Al-Qaeda's army, and to have served as al-Qaeda's accountant.[12]

He had been wanted in Iraq since at least February 2005.[13] The most recent U.S. State Department wanted poster[1] said

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is one of Usama bin Laden’s top global deputies, personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Al-Hadi was the former Internal Operations Chief for al Qaeda. He has been associated with numerous attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been known to facilitate communication between al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda. Al-Hadi rose to the rank of Major in Saddam Hussein’s army before moving to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union. He has a reputation for being a skilled, intelligent, and experienced commander and is an extremely well respected al Qaeda leader. He has commanded numerous terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Al-Hadi is reportedly still in contact with Usama bin Laden.

The Newsweek article[8] claimed that al Iraqi brokered a 2005 reconciliation between Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.[8] 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.[14] That person was also described as a training camp commander. However, 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.[15]

A captured letter[16] dated June 13, 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 April 27, 2007, it was reported that Abdul Hadi Al-Iraqi was in custody in Guantanamo Bay.[17] He was previously held by the CIA. The BBC reported that US sources told them Al-Iraqi was arrested "late last year".[18]

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.[19]

Bush claimed that the transfer of these fourteen men had emptied the CIA's secret interrogation camps.[19] 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.

The Department of Defense announced on August 9, 2007 that all fourteen of the "high-value detainees" who had been transferred to Guantanamo from the CIA's black sites, had been officially classified as "enemy combatants".[20] Although judges Peter Brownback and Keith J. Allred had ruled two months earlier that only "illegal enemy combatants" could face military commissions, the Department of Defense waived the qualifier and said that all fourteen men could now face charges before Guantanamo military commissions.[21][22]

Habeas corpus petition[]

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

Medical condition[]

Abdul Hadi al Iraqi suffers from a spinal condition.[23] Camp authorities flew in a neuro-surgical team for an emergency operation, hours before Cuba was struct by Hurricane Irma. According to Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, his lawyers blamed the severity of his spinal condition on a decade of medical mistreatment. Military spokesmen, on the other hand, pointed to him as an example of the high quality of the treatment provided to captives.

According to his lawyers a CT scan performed in January 2017 pointed out the need for surgery.[24] Camp authorities only scheduled his surgery after he lost all feeling in his legs, and became incontinent.

On September 15, 2017, his lawyers announced that he needed another operation on his spine, in his neck.[24]


  1. ^ a b Wanted poster on Abdulbaqi Archived April 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Rewards for Justice Program, US Department of State
  2. ^ Alleged Qaeda Member Faces Tribunal Archived 2012-08-12 at WebCite, CBS News, 4 April 2006
  3. ^ Iraqi Government releases ’41 Most Wanted’ list Archived April 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Multi-National Force - Iraq, 3 July 2006
  4. ^ Defense Department Takes Custody of a High-Value Detainee Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, United States Department of Defense, 27 April 2007
  5. ^ a b Biographical notes Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine 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. Archived July 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine The New York Times 27 April 2007.
  7. ^ "Alleged al-Qaida commander reveals new name in Guantánamo court". miamiherald. Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  8. ^ a b c Terror Broker Archived August 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Newsweek, 11 April 2006
  9. ^ https://ctc.usma.edu/app/uploads/2017/09/CTC-Sentinel_Vol10Iss8-9.pdf
  10. ^ O'Neill, Sean; Tim Reid; Michael Evans (28 April 2007). "7/7 'mastermind' is seized in Iraq". London: Times Online. Archived from the original on 2010-11-20. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  11. ^ a b Shephard, Michelle, "Guantanamo's Child", 2008.
  12. ^ Amitav Acharya, Hiro Katsumata (2011). "Beyond Iraq: The Future of World Order". World Scientific. pp. 113, 114, 141. ISBN 9789814324878. Retrieved 2016-12-05. As a commander and accountant for al-Qaeda, Abdal Hadi ran both the al-Qaeda Army and maintained an office in the Ashara Guest House in Kart-E-Parwan province in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  13. ^ Press release Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, United States Central Command, 11 February 2005
  14. ^ One of various reports of capture in 2002 Archived August 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ 12 1179-1239.pdf Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Zahir's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, pages 1–8
  16. ^ Al-Adl letter to Mukhtar Archived December 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, English translation by United States Military Academy
  17. ^ "Pentagon: Top al Qaeda leader taken to Guantanamo". CNN. April 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  18. ^ "US holds 'senior al-Qaeda figure'". BBC News Online. 2007-04-27. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  19. ^ a b "Pentagon holds key al Qaida figure in Guantanamo". Xinhua. April 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  20. ^ Lolita C. Baldur (August 9, 2007). "Pentagon: 14 Guantanamo Suspects Are Now Combatants". Time magazine. mirror
  21. ^ Sergeant Sara Wood (June 4, 2007). "Charges Dismissed Against Canadian at Guantanamo". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  22. ^ Sergeant (June 4, 2007). "Judge Dismisses Charges Against Second Guantanamo Detainee". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  23. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2017-09-07). "Doctors beat Irma to Guantánamo to operate on alleged war criminal's spine". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-09-17. Retrieved 2017-09-17. Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, awaiting trial on charges he led the al-Qaida army in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been using a wheelchair and experiencing pain with a bulging lower-back disc from a decade-long degenerative disease, according to his lawyers, who blamed years of "useless treatment" at Guantánamo for the situation.
  24. ^ a b Carol Rosenberg (2017-09-15). "Alleged al-Qaida commander needs more spine surgery; next Guantánamo hearing in doubt". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-09-17. Earlier this month, as Hurricane Irma was headed Guantánamo’s way, the captive became incontinent, and the war-on-terror prison scrambled a special neurosurgery team to the base in southeast Cuba to conduct emergency surgery on Hadi’s lower back — a procedure that, according to doctors consulted by defense attorneys, was clearly necessary months ago based on a January CT scan.

External links[]

Media related to Abdul Hadi Al Iraqi at Wikimedia Commons