A high-level al-Qaida operative who helped arrange al-Qaida’s escape from Afghanistan in 2001 is in Defense Department custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said on Friday.
Muhammad Rahim of Afghanistan arrived in Guantanamo earlier in the week after being held by the CIA, Whitman said.
Whitman had no information Friday on when or where Rahim was captured, or how long he was in the custody of the CIA.
Whitman described Rahim as a “close associate of Osama bin Laden” who allegedly helped prepare Tora Bora as bin Laden’s hideout and later served as a courier for al-Qaida leaders.
Rahim is accused of being involved with or aware of al-Qaida attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan and procuring chemicals for a plot against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Whitman said.
He also worked with an al-Qaida commander who has been at Guantanamo since April to “recruit individuals with access to U.S. military facilities,” Whitman said.
Whitman did not say whether those facilities were in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Rahim will be treated humanely in accordance with Defense Department policy, U.S. law and international treaties, Whitman said.