Majid Khan (Guantanamo captive 10020)

:"There are multiple individuals named Majid Khan.

Majid Khan is a Pakistan-born man and legal resident of the United States who immigrated to the US in 1996. On a trip to Pakistan to visit his wife, Khan was detained by Pakistani officials and transferred to one of the CIA’s secret prisons. He is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and is the only so-called "high value" detainee to have legal representation.

Early life

Khan’s family settled in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended Owings Mills High School. [ From Baltimore Suburbs to a Secret CIA Prison: Family Learned Last Week That Man Was Among 'High-Value' Terrorism Suspects Moved to Guantanamo] , "Washington Post", September 11 2006] Like many American teens, Khan listened to hip-hop music and played video games. He helped out his family by working the cash register at the family-owned business, his father’s gas station. He was granted asylum in the USA in 1998. Khan was also an active member in the Muslim community, volunteering to teach computer classes for youth at the Islamic Society of Baltimore and attending Jumah services at his local mosque a mile away from home. In 2002, Khan returned to Pakistan, where he married his wife, Rabia, and subsequently returned to the United States for a short period to continue his work as a database administrator in a Maryland government office. [,0,7737774.story?coll=bal-local-headlines Terrorism suspect has Balto. Co. ties] , "Baltimore Sun", September 11 2006]


Upon his second return to Pakistan on March 5, 2003, Khan, his brother Mohammed, and other relatives were arrested at their residence in Karachi by Pakistani security agents and taken into custody. Khan and his family were taken to an unknown location. After about a month the entire family, with the exception of Khan, was released.

Rabia and the rest of Khan’s family heard nothing of his whereabouts for three years until September 2006 when President Bush announced that Khan, along with 13 other so-called "high value" detainees, had been transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantánamo to await prosecution under the new military tribunal system prescribed by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Legal Issues

Khan was the first of fourteen detainees transferred from the CIA black sites to military custody at Guantanamo to challenge the legality of his detention. [ Suspect challenges detention: The detainee is the first transferred from secret CIA prison to argue he is being wrongfully held] , "Kansas City Star", October 5 2006] The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the challenge on October 5 2006 -- before President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. [ New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act] , "Christian Science Monitor", October 6 2006] The Military Commissions Act of 2006 disallows detainees from mounting challenges through US courts. The act is retroactive. The Center for Constitutional Rights argued against this act before the US Supreme Court in Al Odah v. United States and Boumediene v. Bush on December 5 2007, and a decision is expected in July.


In the government’s account, Khan was exposed to a radicalized element of Islam while in America. Khan allegedly began attending secret prayer meetings at Baltimore’s Islamic Society where he was influenced by individuals who sought out disaffected young people and encouraged them to join their Islamic fringe group. US officials assert that Khan’s first trip to Pakistan connected him to family members affiliated with Al-Qaeda. According to officials, these family members introduced Khan to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the man accused of orchestrating the September 11, 2001 attacks, who later allegedly enlisted Khan in helping to support and plan terrorist attacks against the US and Israel. Government officials also believe that Khan, under KSM’s tutelage, was being trained to blow up gas stations, poison water reservoirs and plotted to assassinate Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. Khan's job at the family gas station played a role in the suspicions of U.S. intelligence analysts that he was part of a plot to blow up parts of the U.S. petroleum infrastructure.The US government also contends that Khan was aware that he was in violation of the terms of his asylum when he left the United States to visit Pakistan in 2002.

Director of National Intelligence report

On November 8, 2006 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence asserted that his experience as a gas station attendant: "...made Khan highly qualified to assist Mohammad with the research and planning to blow up gas stations."cite news
title=Detainee Suspected of Plot to Destroy Gas, Water Supplies
publisher=The Nature of the Enemy
date=November 8, 2006
quote=This experience made Khan highly qualified to assist [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammad with the research and planning to blow up gas stations. Khan is also suspected of working with Mohammad on plans to poison water reservoirs throughout the United States, and plans to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Legal Challenge to Government Allegations

Khan’s attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal and educational organization devoted to the protection of human rights both in the United States and abroad, insist that he was tortured, subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, and coerced into making false and unreliable confessions.

Khan's appeal points out that even though he has been in US custody for more than three and a half years, he has never had any kind of review of the legality of his detention. [ New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act] , "Christian Science Monitor", October 6 2006] Khan’s attorneys at CCR have petitioned to have his case tried in civilian court in the United States instead of by military tribunal at Guantanamo. However, a federal appeals court ruled in February 2007 that detainees at Guantanamo Bay cannot use the US court system to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.

Access to Legal Counsel

The Center for Constitutional Rights argued against the government's efforts to deny CCR attorneys access to Khan in a response brief filed November 3, 2006. In the brief, CCR argued that efforts by the Bush administration to deny Khan access to council, "ignores the Court's historical function under Article III of the Constitution to exercise its independent judgment," and is using its classification authority to hide illegal conduct when the court has sufficient tools to prevent disclosure of sensitive classified information.cite web
title = Khan v. Bush / Khan v. Gates
publisher = Center for Constitutional Rights
url =
accessdate = 2008-02-29

On November 4, 2006, the Justice Department said that Khan should not be allowed to speak to an attorney because he might "reveal the agency's closely guarded interrogation techniques". []

James Friedman, a professor at the Maine School of Law, wrote that the Bush administration is arguing that Khan, and the other high-value detainees held in the Black Sites, should be gagged from talking about the interrogation techniques they were exposed to, even when talking privately to their own lawyers. [ Secrecy, Interrogation and the Rule of Law] , "The Jurist", November 13 2006] Friedman pointed out, "His combatant status was never reviewed as required by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) nor as outlined in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005."

According to an article by Christopher Brauchli:
Christopher Brauchli, [ When the Secret is the Question: Secret Prisons, Top Secret Interrogations] , "Counterpunch", December 22 2006]
*Kathleen Blomquist, a Justice Department Spokeswoman explains::"information regarding the former C.I.A. detainees [like Mr. Khan] was classified as top secret. She said the information he shares with his counsel should "be appropriately tailored to accommodate a higher security level."
*The D.I.A. told the court that if Mr. Khan told just any person what the [interrogation] procedures were, it would cause "extremely grave damage to the national security."
*Marilyn A. Dorn, an official at the National Clandestine Service that is part of the C.I.A. told the court that "If specific alternative techniques were disclosed, it would permit terrorist organizations to adapt their training to counter the tactics that C.I.A. can employ in interrogations."

Habeas corpus submission

Majid Khan is one of the sixteen Guantanamo captives whose amalgamated habeas corpus submissions were heard by
US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton on January 31 2007.cite web
title=Gherebi, et al. v. Bush
date=January 31 2007
publisher=United States Department of Justice
author=Reggie B. Walton
accessdate=May 19
] Walton ruled that the cases be administratively closed until the District of Columbia Circuit resolves the issue of jurisdiction.cite news
last = Pantesco
first = Joshua
title = Federal judge halts Guantanamo habeas cases pending appeals ruling
language = English
publisher = Jurist
date = February 1 2007
url =
accessdate = 2008-02-26

Combatant Status Review Tribunals

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay are determined to be “enemy combatants” or “non-enemy combatants” during what are known as Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs). Many critics have pointed out the flaws of the process, including:
* The government controls what evidence and witnesses are permitted.
* Evidence obtained by torture is admissible.
* The detainees have no lawyer representing them.
* There is no guarantee of due process.
* The process is designed to get the government the results it wants—-some detainees were sent through the CSRT process as many as three times until they were found guilty.

Timeline of Majid Khan's Combatant Status Review Tribunal

The "Baltimore Sun" reported that Khan said that when he lived in the USA he paid $2,400 per month in US taxes.It also reported that the only other captive he has had any contact with since he arrived in Guantanamo was Abu Zubaydah.

Pakistani cooperation

Khalid Khawaja, a spokesman for a Pakistani human rights group named Defense of Human Rights, cited the examples of Majid Khan and Saifullah Paracha as proof that the Pakistani government had lied about whether it had handed over Pakistani citizens to the US. [ 2 Pakistanis in Guantanamo Bay should be released, rights group says] , "International Herald Tribune", November 23 2006] The "Associated Press" quotes Khawaja as stating that: "Pakistan has sold its own people to the United States for dollars."

Related case
Uzair Paracha, the son of Saifullah Paracha, another Guantanamo detainee, stood trial, and was convicted of terrorism charges in a US court. Paracha had requested Majid Khan as a witness. The US government declined to produce him, even though he was in US custody. [ Maryland Man Named As High-Value Terror Suspect] , "WBAL-TV", September 11 2006]


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