The latest release by whisleblower organization Wikileaks — prisoner stories from the Guantenamo Bay has shed light into the role played by Pakistan in training Taliban militants.
Wikileaks started releasing hundreds of prisoner files from the controversial prison set up by the US after it started its attack on Afghanistan ten years ago.
“Detainee attended a 15 day military-style training camp in Pakistan sponsored by the Pakistani army. The camp concentrated on aquatics training and did not involve weapons training,” says the personal file of Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahab, who according to his prison record, was a member of al-Qaida and a former Usama Bin Laden (UBL) bodyguard and is related, by marriage, to Laden.
Wahab, originally a vegetable vendor from Yemen, was converted into radical Islam after listening to a speech by Shaykh al-Wadi, a well-known religious scholar, while learning religion in Yemen in 1996.
Shuaib spoke about helping the Taliban by providing either money or knowledge to the Taliban’s mission, leading Wahab to meet up with the Shaykh later on in private to learn how to help. Shuaib encouraged detainee to support the Taliban by going to Afghanistan and teach the Koran.
Wahab decided to travel to Afghanistan along with his pregnant wife, leaving Yemen in the middle of 2000. 2 They first stopped in Karachi, Pakistan (PK), where detainee and his wife stayed at the home of Muhammad Iqbal, a friend of detainee’s father.
“Muhammad Iqbal had a son, Ahmed Muhammad Iqbal, who was a fighter with the mujahideen in Kashmir, Pakistan. Ahmed Iqbal attempted to recruit detainee to fight with the mujahideen in Kashmir. Detainee informed Ahmed that he would not fight in Kashmir but would accept the training,” his prison records, as released by Wikileaks, said.
He then attended a 15 day military-style training camp in Pakistan “sponsored by the Pakistani army.”
The training consisted of swimming above the water while dragging a bag or a small raft, both of which were filled with rocks symbolizing personal belongings and weapons, possibly to simulate transporting explosives.
Students at the camp were also trained on how to operate small rubber boats and were taught how to avoid detection by flipping the boat.
Wahab caught in 2001 by the Pakistan Army while he was trying to escape from the notorious Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan into Pakistan and was considered party of a “Dirty 30” group considered highly dangerous by the US.
“According to Muhammad Yahya Muhsin al-Zaylai [another fellow prisoner], the Pakistani warden of the prison where the “Dirty 30” were first held instructed the group to say they were in Afghanistan to teach the Koran and to study religion when they are interrogated by US forces,” the prison records said.