Monday, June 26, 2017


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 26, 2017

One of the two suspected terrorists brought into the country from Guantanamo Bay near Cuba by the government of the United States of America (USA) has reportedly married a lady from his native Yemen in Ghana.

According to a Citi FM report, Al-Qaeda foot-soldier Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, who is about 38 years, married Haia more than two months ago.

Official Confirmation
George Clarke, who has been lawyer for Bin Atef since 2015, confirmed the union, adding, “I think it was contracted while he was in Ghana, but I don’t believe the woman is from Ghana.”

“He is already married, but I don’t think it is to anybody in Ghana. He did get married after he got out of Guantanamo, but I don’t know the details of that,” Mr. Clarke added.

The lawyer said Bin Atef wants to have his ‘full’ freedom of movement whilst in the country and be able to work as well; he wants to live a regular life. He wants to get married. He wants to have kids.”

Court Verdict
The Supreme Court on Thursday held that the transfer of Bin Atef, together with Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, 37, from Guantanamo Bay to Ghana during the tenure of the previous Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in early January 2016, was unconstitutional.

The court, in a 6-1 majority decision, ordered the repatriation of the two reported terrorists to the United States, if the Parliament of Ghana fails to rectify the deal within three months. 

The arrival of the terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, near Cuba, set tongues wagging and the court has finally ruled that the deal should have been ratified by Parliament, which the Mahama-led NDC government failed to do.

Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid, after the ruling by the court, issued a statement calling for calm, as the government takes steps to execute the consequential order.

Money for Upkeep
On Saturday, a former NDC MP George Loh for North Dayi, who was then Vice Chairperson of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament when the terrorists were brought into the country, said the US gave the Ghana government $300,000 for the upkeep of the two.

“There was an amount that was agreed on for the upkeep or an amount that was proposed from the US for the upkeep of the two, and that is not something that we are disbursing as a country. We are making sure that they get everything they want,” the former MP told Citi FM, adding “I think it is about $300,000…the agreement is just for two years.

Unconstitutional Action
The suit to get the Supreme Court to interpret the deal was filed by Margaret Bamfo, an 86-year-old retired Conference Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Henry Nana Boakye, a student of Ghana School of Law.
They petitioned the Supreme Court to declare that former President John Mahama acted unconstitutionally by accepting the Al-Qaeda terrorists into Ghana.

The case took a new twist on April 12, 2016 when the defendants, made up of the Attorney-General and the Minister of the Interior, filed a process averring that Ghana actually had an existing agreement with the United States government regarding the two detainees, whose presence in Ghana, continues to generate public uproar.

On page 7 paragragh 3 of the AG’s statement of case filed on March 16, the government said, “We admit that there exists an agreement between the two governments, which was reached by the exchange of confidential diplomatic notes, otherwise known as Note Verbales.”

As a result of the U-turn by the government, De Medeiros & Associates, lawyers for the applicants, sought a request for the said agreement to be made available to them for scrutiny.

Gitmo 2 Arrival
It would be recalled that the previous Mahama administration announced that Ghana would host the terrorists for two years from the time of their arrival.

When they were brought in, the NDC government stated that Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were being offered humanitarian assistance in Ghana under a deal signed with the Obama administration.

It turned out that the US was looking for a place to dump the two hardcore terrorists.

According to US security report on the two suspects, Mohammed Bin Atef was “a fighter in Osama bin Laden’s former 55th Arab Brigade and he is an admitted member of the Taliban.”

He trained at al Farouq, the infamous al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and “participated in hostilities against US and coalition forces, and continues to demonstrate his support for Osama Bin Laden and extremism.”

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