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The Scoop
July 26, 2012

Another former Guantanamo detainee triumphs in court

by
Robin Simcox

It emerged this week that the Australian government has dropped its attempts to stop former Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks, from profiting from his autobiography ‘My Journey’. The government argued that he should not be allowed to profit from the book because he is a convicted criminal and in Australia, criminals can be sued for proceeds from their crimes (including indirect profits, such as a book deal). However, it was contested as to whether this applied to Hicks, as he pleaded guilty before a US military commission. And we all know what terrible arbiters of justice those evil Americans are.

It can never be pointed out enough just what exactly these former detainees were up to shortly before their capture. David Hicks, for example, signed a deal in Guantanamo admitting to providing material support to al-Qaeda. This conviction related to his January 2001 travel to Afghanistan in order to attend al-Qaeda training camps.

According to his confession, Hicks completed a variety of military training courses at al-Farouq training camp, a favourite bin Laden hangout at this time (in a letter home to his family written in May 2001, Hicks said he had met bin Laden ‘about 20 times’ and  described him as ‘a lovely brother’).

After Hicks completed his first two al-Qaeda training courses, al-Qaeda’s military commander Muhammad Atef recommended Hicks attend an urban tactics training course at Tarnak Farm. Al-Farouq and Tarnak were serious places to be at this time. This was where some of the al-Qaeda hardcore were on the eve of 9/11; Tarnak even contained one of bin Laden’s Afghan homes.

Hicks completed this training and eventually made his way to Pakistan. Following 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan to assist anti-American forces. Hicks was arrested by the Northern Alliance in December 2001, and transferred to Guantanamo Bay in January 2002.

Hicks continues to say this was all a misunderstanding. His book spends less than one page talking about his al-Qaeda training, and he maintains that he was just ‘naively travelling to dangerous locations in an attempt to help others’. Other former Guantanamo detainees have made similar claims. Some people even seem to believe them.

Let’s say every word Hicks said about Guantanamo, al-Qaeda and his hard luck story is true. Let’s take him at his word completely. In doing so, let’s also assume he meant what he said in letters written to his mother in October and November of 2000:

There is one thing I wish to explain about jihad the non-believers, Jews and Americans in the western world are determined to prevent it to come back again. Jihad is still valid today and will be for all time. The West is full of poison. The western society is controlled by the Jews with music, TV, houses, cars, free sex takes Muslims away from the true Islam keeps Islam week and in the third world.

Real jihad is possible just like before in the Prophets day where martyrs die with a smile on their faces and their bodies stay smelling of beautiful perfume for weeks after death.

The West lives in the dark in a narrow sort of living. Allah will use his servants to punish non-believers in this world.

Islam will rule again but for now we must have patience we are asked to sacrifice our lives for Allahs cause why not? There are many privileges in heaven. It is not just war it is jihad.

We must do this because we are forced simply because the West knows how strong Islam is when practiced.

One reward I get in being martyred I get to take ten members of my family to heaven who were destined for hell. But first I also must be martyred. We are all going to die one day so why not be martyred?

As a post script: If I do get martyred that is what I want. If Dad rings and says that, you know that your son is dead, say congratulations. Allah will help just let him know that you are happy about it.

Poor, misunderstood David Hicks. When will the US stop detaining such innocent and well-meaning souls?

Robin Simcox

About Robin Simcox

Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, where he specialises in al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda inspired terrorism. He is the co-author of both editions of 'Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections' and several other reports broadly focussed on national security, terrorism and al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated movements across the world. Simcox has written for the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Guardian, Weekly Standard, Spectator, Huffington Post and Daily Telegraph and regularly appears across a broad variety of media outlets, including the BBC, Fox News, Sky News, Channel 4 and al-Jazeera. He has spoken on a variety of platforms, including the British Parliament, US Special Operations Command and the European Parliament.

Full profile  |  See all of Robin Simcox's work