Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Birth to 2001 : Egypt, Australia, America
Mamdouh Habib was born in Egypt, moved to Australia in 1980, became a citizen there, married Maha, had four children, and taught Islam. He traveled to New York prior to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing during which time he visited Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (who was later sentenced to life imprisonment for attacking US targets, and being behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing). Various national security organizations, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), became interested in him at this point. ASIO & the Federal Police have been tapping his conversations since 1993. They allege that there is plenty of evidence to indicate he supports many atrocities committed by Muslims around the world, including the Luxor massacre in his native Egypt in 1997 where 58 innocent tourists where brutally murdered in cold blood & a young English female child was raped & then murdered. A baby was also murdered with a knife by one of the Islamic extremists. ASIO did play a recording of him praising the Islamic militants who carried out this massacre to a court in May 1999 to ensure they could continue monitoring him. The Luxor massacre was carried out by the Islamic extremist group Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya of which Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman is the spiritual leader. Mamdouh Habib is a known admirer & supporter of the sheik.
According to the ABC Current Affairs program Four Corners (aired on 20/07/04) the (Australian) Defense Housing Authority took out an apprehended violence order against him, following a series of threatening phone calls following the loss of a contract Habib had with the organisation. In court his psychiatrist testified that Habib was suffering from major depression and was being treated with Prozac, but that he was not prone to violence. A witness stated at the trial; "He is irritable. He has been preoccupied with a sense of hopelessness about his future. He has become withdrawn and he has been very agitated at home and he has been crying excessively as well. There is no evidence to suggest that he is aggressive or about to become aggressive or violent. He is not dangerous at this point."
According to the same programme, in early 2001 at a meeting with police, Habib was described as showing "signs of hostility towards government organisations and the community generally". The Protective Services Group was asked to do "a detailed threat assessment" of Mr Habib. The final conclusion was that there was no information to support concerns that Habib might carry out an act of violence. The police decided Habib was "a repetitious and vexatious complainant" and that "little credibility could be attributed to any threats or allegations he may make".
2001 to 2005 : Imprisonment : Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Cuba
Mr. Habib was arrested in Pakistan, deported him to Egypt for 5 months, transferred to US military custody, imprisoned in Afghanistan, then sent to Camp X-ray, the United States military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Mr Habib was arrested October 5, 2001 while traveling by bus to Karachi, Pakistan. The bus was stopped by local police who arrested Habib and two Germans. The two German citizens arrested with Habib were released shortly thereafter.
The Four Corners airing stated that, under intense and lengthy interrogation, the two Germans were asked if they saw Habib, or if he told them he had been in Afghanistan, they said nothing that incriminated Habib. One replied; "No. I didn't see him in the camps I was in. Nor did he tell us that he had been in a training camp."
It is alleged that while he was in Afghanistan, Habib took an advanced al-Qaeda training course in a camp near Kabul. It's claimed the course included surveillance and photographing facilities, the establishment and use of safe houses, covert travel and writing secret reports. Australian authorities say that several other men who took part in the course identified Habib as having been there. Evidence to support these claims has not been made public.
Habib alleges that he was beaten and humiliated in Pakistan after his arrest. Habib alleges that an Australian official was present at some of these interrogations, but the Australian Government has denied this. 
Habib was then sent to Egypt for five months. His Egyptian captors allegedly shocked him with high-voltage wires, hung him from metal hooks on walls, nearly drowned him, mercilessly beat him, and attacked him with dogs. These allegations are consistent with other allegations of torture in Egypt.
"They outsource torture," said Stephen Hopper, Habib's Australian lawyer. "You get your friends and allies to do your dirty work for you."
The former coffee shop owner soon confessed to a litany of terrorism-related crimes, including teaching martial arts to several of the September 11 hijackers and planning a hijacking himself. Habib later insisted that his confessions were false and given under "duress and torture."
Habib was then sent to Guantanamo Bay where he continued to receive tough treatment for two more years. He says that he was told by interrogators that his family had been killed, and that he was tied to the ground while a prostitute menstruated on him.
The USA accused Habib of having knowledge of the September 11, 2001 attacks, training the hijackers, staying at an al-Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, conducted surveillance, helping transfer chemical weapons, and planning to hijack the aircraft used in the September 11 attacks; in short being an illegal combatant. However, he was never formally charged.
When the Americans decided in January not to charge Mr. Habib, the Australians sought his release. On January 11, 2005, Australian Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock announced that Habib would be released without charge by the United States and repatriated to Australia within days.
A special plane was chartered by the Australian government (for about $500,000) to fly Habib home because the US would not allow him to travel on an ordinary commercial flight..
Habib was released by the US Military and returned to Australia on the 28th of January 2005.
With Mr. Habib back home, Australian officials have revoked his passport, say he remains under suspicion, and warn his activities will be constantly monitored to ensure he does not become a security threat. He has not been charged and remains free.
The Australian government also wants to prevent Mr. Habib being paid by the media for interviews or "making profits from committing a crime" even though he has not been convicted of any crime by any country (it is important to note whilst anti-terrorism laws in Australia currently make it illegal to be involved in terrorist organisations, Habib was already in custody when these laws were introduced and so he can not be convicted under them). The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, has ruled out any apology to Habib.
Mr. Habib told his family everything that had happened since he left Sydney in July 2001. Just in case something bad happens to him, he said, "I want them to know fully everything."
On the 16th of February, 2005, the ABC current affairs programme, The 7:30 Report, featured one of the country's leading trauma and stress psychiatrists, Professor Christopher Tennant from the University of Sydney. Tenant had examined Habib and his conclusion was that Habib was displaying classic symptoms of someone who had been through terrible and brutalising experiences. He also says the evidence was physical as well as mental. Tenant told how he had seen marks on Habib's body, cigarette burns on his body, and the subsequent examination by another professor of medicine, more expert in physical examination confirmed that Habib had skin discolouration on his right loin which would be consistent with old bruising, which in turn would be consistent with beating, possibly. Professor Tennant also stated he saw an unsigned medical report from Guantanamo Bay that backed up Habib's claim to have been beaten while in US custody; "Well, the main feature of the medical report from Guantanamo was that he had had repeatedly blood in his urine, which is a very significant symptom and a worrying symptom, and that was consistent with his reports both to me and to the specialist physician who also examined him, and was consistent with the fact that, on examination, he had evidence of discolouration to his skin on his right loin, just over his kidney, which in turn was consistent with old bruising and possibly due to being beaten." On the possibility of whether Habib was faking, Tennant stated; "He would have had to have had access to a very good psychiatric textbook and to be a very competent actor. I don't believe he had either of those two attributes."
- LA Times Comprehensive article.
- ABC "4 Corners" documentary "Worst of the Worst" -- Aired 19 July 2004 -- includes link to transcript. This fills in some background to Habib, suggesting that he was "a man on the edge".
- "Prostitute used in Habib torture - lawyer", Sydney Morning Herald article 27th January 2005.
Habib was released by the US Military and returned to Australia on the 28th of January 2005. The Australian Government has stated it will keep an eye on him but he will not be charged and remains free.
- The case of Mamdouh Habib A very complete coverage.
- Prostitute used in Habib torture: lawyer : January 27, 2005"At an Australia Day forum in Sydney, Mr Hopper gave more details of atrocities allegedly endured by his client while held at the US base in Cuba..."The Americans used prostitutes as tools in their interrogations. They'd say to detainees 'If you co-operate with us, we'll let you at this woman for the night'...He said detainees held at the base with Mr Habib reported that a prostitute was told to stand over him and menstruate on him...One of the prostitutes stood over him naked while he was strapped to the floor and menstruated on him."
World Socialist Web Site: New details of Australian involvement in the torture of Mamdouh Habib Extensive article with additional links to previous WSWS comments
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details