The Story Of Commander Uthman Al Ghamidi

I WAS LIKE ANY OTHER YOUNG man running after making a living in a cheap world. I finished high school and then enlisted in the navy. I was in the navy for two years, oblivious to what was happening to my Islamic nation and caring for nothing but making ends meet. But I wasn’t happy. I was not feeling satisfied and an internal conflict within myself was brewing. That was until the day came when Allah guided me to the true path. I left my work and spent my time in the masjid. I began searching for opportunities of doing good to make up for my shortcomings towards my Muslim ummah for all of those long years. But I didn’t find what I was doing was enough. The Muslim ummah needed more than just relief work and sponsoring orphans and widows. It needed to be saved from its enemies that were surrounding it. It needed those who would cure its deep wounds and I knew that could not be achieved except through jihad and preparation for it. That is when I decided to go to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the land of mujahidin under the leadership of the Taliban. There I could receive the training I needed. But I could not travel since the Saudi government does not allow its military personal to travel outside of the country except after receiving a special permit and after long and complicated procedures. So I tried to get relieved from my military duty but there were some financial requirements that stood in the way. Therefore, I decided to find other means to get out of the country. I tried finding help in obtaining a fake passport but to no avail. I prayed to Allah to make things easy for me. That is when I found a brother who not only arranged to get me a fake passport but he also provided me with the money needed for my journey. The zero hour approached and I greeted my family without telling them my destination of travel. I traveled through a few local airports before embarking on my trip to Karachi, Pakistan after transiting at Bahrain and Doha. With the help of Allah, the mujahidin are able to get over the most difficult of obstacles. We should put our trust in Allah. 

After my arrival at Karachi airport, I took a taxi to a close-by hotel where I spent the night. The following day I called the coordinator to inform him of my arrival. Shortly after that, the hotel reception informed me of a man asking to see me. I carried my luggage and went out to meet the brother who came to pick me up in a taxi. The brother was Arab and after exchanging with him the agreed upon code words, I rode with him. I was impressed with the organization of the brothers, their transportation, communication network, their coordination, and they even provided new passports for us. They were like a state within the state. What was most impressive was their devotion to their work even though they were volunteers and were not receiving pay. During our ride to the guesthouse, the brother was taking every opportunity to welcome me. At the guesthouse I saw men from different nationalities and they were all welcoming me with smiles on their faces. All of these brothers came together for one purpose: to serve Islam, and each one of them had his own program and destination to head towards. I put my bags in one of the rooms and met the Amir of the guesthouse who offered me to call my family to let them know that I arrived safely. I spent the night at the guesthouse and the following day arrangements were made for my trip to Afghanistan so I boarded a plane from Karachi airport to Quetta airport on the border with Afghanistan. From there we took a taxi towards the capital of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Qandahar. When we passed the Pakistani border, we prostrated to Allah to thank him for allowing us to reach Afghanistan. When we arrived at Qandahar, we were welcomed by brothers from the Taliban who used to repeat: “You are Arabs and we love you for the sake of Allah.” We were then taken to the guesthouse for the new arrivals. We arrived there at sunset and I spent my night with the best of all men. 

The following day we were woken up by the arrival of a few vehicles carrying armed men with a van in between. When the vehicles stopped, all the armed men disembarked their vehicles and gathered around the van and opened its door. To our surprise, Shaykh Usama came out to visit us and welcomed us himself. He greeted us one-by-one and was inquiring about our news. He was especially eager to inquire about news from the Arabian Peninsula. The Shaykh left after instructing us to leave for the Faruq camp. We prepared our luggage and the following day we were taken to the factory where real men are fashioned: the al-Faruq camp. It took us a few hours to get to the camp and when we arrived the instructors greeted us with smiles on their faces. When I saw how we were welcomed and greeted at this camp, I compared it to the way we were received at the navy. We were received with ridicule and profane words and I remember one of the officers saying: “leave your good manners, honor and manhood at the outside gate and when you leave you may take them back if you want but you are not allowed to have any of that in here. What we expect from you in this place is blind obedience.” 

After welcoming us, the instructors left except for one who introduced himself to us and told us that he is our instructor. He read to us some instructions and then took us around the camp and gave us a brief introduction to the training courses that were being offered. He left us to prepare ourselves for the start of our training the following day. Our training began and the hours and days passed with us going through a combination of military and religious training. From time to time Shaykh Usama would visit us to raise our spirits and encourage us. He would also tell us that some of our brothers were about to strike America on its soil and he would ask us to pray for them. 

After about a month, the Shaykh instructed us to be divided into groups. I was chosen among a group of fifty brothers to accompany the Shaykh. We left the camp in a bus and spent the night at a guesthouse. We were then taken to Kabul. After a few days we received the news of the assassination of Ahmad Shah Masood and we were very pleased to hear it. Then we headed towards Torgar, next to Jalalabad, in the East of Afghanistan. This is the same place were Shaykh Usama gave his famous oath: “America will not live in peace and security until we live it in Palestine.” During the day of our arrival, we were listening to the news attentively since the Shaykh told us the operation would be soon “so keep your ears close to the radio”. A few hours later the world was struck with the news of September 11th. We couldn’t believe it at first. We had humiliated America and struck it on its soil using its own planes as weapons. We damaged its economy and weakened its strength and we had them drink from the same cup they have been having our ummah drink from for years. Now we were equal, sending the clear message: We kill from you as you kill from us and as you strike terror in us we strike terror in you. That was a special day. The mujahidin were happy and they were happier when they saw the celebration of the Muslim ummah, especially our brothers in Palestine. The issue of Palestine was one of the main reasons for us attacking America. We wanted to take revenge for our brothers and sisters in Palestine by striking at the nation that is the reason behind the existence of Israel. It became clear to the close and far that the mujahidin are able to take revenge and defend the ummah even though they are undersized in numbers and provisions. 
After the celebrations, we began to prepare ourselves. The Shaykh along with some of the leaders moved to a secure location while we prepared the area for the fight. We drew maps, surveyed the area, and dug trenches. A few days later we were instructed to head for Tora Bora and I was one of the first to go up the mountain. The mujahidin were trickling into the area until we reached a total of a little over three hundred fighters (America falsely claimed that we were three thousand). We began preparing the area for the fight with America and its allies by digging trenches and taking our defensive positions on the mountains. On the 7th of October 2001, the Americans started their bombing campaign. They began with Kandahar followed by Kabul, Jalalabad and Tora Bora. The bombing was atrocious but the mercy of Allah was surrounding us and we fell into a deep sleep. The next day I asked some of the other brothers I met and they described going through the same experience. The bombing over Tora Bora was increasing. It was relentless. That was because of the rumors that Shaykh Usama and Dr. Ayman were present. They were with us and they were going through what we were going through. They refused to leave us except one day before our retreat and only after our insistence that they must evacuate the area. Bombs were falling like rain. But the mercy of Allah was also falling down on us like a rain that was much heavier and mightier than all the rockets and bombs that America could send. There was no fight on the ground except with the Afghan hypocrites during the final twelve days. We received our orders to retreat to Pakistan. We left Tora Bora and left behind us the memory of those eventful days. We also left behind fifty martyrs whom musk emanated from their bodies. After a march of three days where we would drink and eat snow and sleep over snow; where we would descend a mountain only to climb another, we reached to a tribe on the Pakistani border. The tribe welcomed us and hosted us in their homes but we didn’t know that we were in the wrong place. We trusted them and gave them our weapons in order to make our movements easy inside Pakistan. After one day, they gathered us into a masjid where we found three buses parked outside and the entire area surrounded by the Pakistani police and army. We realized that this tribe had entrapped us and that we had been sold off to the Pakistani government. We were around a hundred brothers. Some of us tried to run away from the masjid. I was one of those. There was another brother with me and then a short while later we were joined by a third. We asked a tribe member to help smuggle us to the gulf, which he agreed to do, and he hosted us in his house. 

A fourth brother joined us so we divided into two groups of two. The first group reached safely but my companion and I fell into a checkpoint, got arrested and were beaten badly because we tried to resist. We were then taken to a nearby prison where we stayed for a day before we were transported to Kohat military prison. In Kohat, when we saw our other imprisoned mujahidin brothers, the imprisonment became easy on us. 

During this time the Pakistani government interrogated us and following that we were visited by the FBI who took our photographs and fingerprints. We stayed in this prison between two to three weeks. Following that we were transported in large American cargo airplanes. The journey took a few hours before we landed in Qandahar where the Americans set up a temporary base. We were taken away to the base in a very brutal way. On the base, various forms of horrific methods of torture were used on the prisoners. The torture led to the deaths of some of the brothers. The Americans were also using a variety of means to insult our religion. The duration of our stay on the base varied. Some stayed for a few weeks and others for a few months. I chose to be straightforward with the investigators and I told them that I was in Afghanistan for the purpose of jihad and that I trained at al-Faruq camp. 

This led to my speedy transport to Guantanamo Bay prison. My stay on the base was for a total of two weeks. I was taken on board a cargo plane for a long journey. Scenes of this journey were shown on the media. In that journey we were not allowed to speak or move and we were prevented from seeing or hearing anything. The journey was for more than 24 hours. We were greeted at Guantanamo with swearing and beating as we were dragged to our cells. That is when the dirty American program began against us. They insulted our religion and we were subjected to physical and psychological forms of torture through sleep deprivation and exposure to hot and cold weather in special rooms. We were also used as guinea pigs for their experiments. For example, they would experiment certain drugs on us so that one would find one of us for days unable to sleep while his neighbor is sleeping endlessly for a few days. One of the brothers would joke and say: “It seems the Americans have taken us as spare parts for themselves”. 

They would expose us to hunger and they would try to seduce some of us through women. Nevertheless, with all this torture and temptation, Allah was protecting us. We would defend the Qur’an and take from them what we wanted by force. The Muslim is honorable if he takes jihad as his path. We were able to receive news of the mujahidin, even though thousands of kilometers stood between us and the lands of jihad. Sometimes we would know about something happening in the world without actually hearing the specific news about it. For example, we would know about a defeat of the Americans when the flags on the base would fly at halfstaff. Sometimes news would reach us about Afghanistan. During that time we heard a lot about Abu Layth al-Libi. We would also receive news about our brothers in the Arabian Peninsula and we were with them with our souls and prayers. One day the prison guards came in happy and they were dancing. When we asked them what was the reason of their joy, they said that the U.S. has invaded Iraq. One of them proudly said: 

“Yesterday we took Afghanistan, today we have taken Iraq, and tomorrow we will take Makkah.” 
That is their plan and one of them said that that is what they were taught at church. However, their dreams were shattered by the real men of the ummah such as Abu Mus’ab al- Zarqawi. We used to threaten them and anger them with the name of al-Zarqawi to the extent that some of them would return to apologize to us for what they had done. There were some soldiers who committed suicide before being deployed to Iraq because of their fear of Abu Mus’ab and the mujahidin. The sacrifices of the mujahidin played a role in our release from Guantanamo. In fact they are the main reason behind our release as one of our lawyers said: “The path of the legal system is a long one and it will not get you out of here any time soon, but the knife of Abu Mus’ab al- Zarqawi would.” After spending five years at Guantanamo, I was told that I would be released. But my release was delayed for a month because I told them as soon as I am released I would join the mujahidin again. 

During this month, they killed three of the prisoners in the same section the prison where I was located. With my imminent release after five years of captivity, feelings of sadness and happiness were overcoming me. Farewell was very difficult. My heart was tearing apart for having to depart from the brothers whom I spent the past five years with. We were transported in a large armored bus to the airport where a Saudi jet was waiting for us. There were sixteen of us and we boarded the jet. It had seventy men onboard, the crew plus men from the intelligence service and police. We boarded the plane while giving a final glance at Guantanamo Bay, the place that Allah blessed us with raising on it the call to prayers and worshiping Him on its soil. The plane landed in Riyadh after transiting in Morocco for refueling. At our arrival in Riyadh, we were taken by bus to the prison of al-Hayer. This is the prison where our great scholars, chaste sisters, and mujahidin brothers have been imprisoned for many long years. When we reached it, they put us all in a cell where we remained for three months. We were released for a week and during that week I got married. They then put us back in jail for four months. 

The government officers interrogated us and we were subjected to a rehabilitation program where we would meet with government clerics who would try to convince us that jihad today is ĥarām unless the ruler allows it. How can the ruler who is himself an apostate and is an agent of the Americans order jihad against America! These Shaykh’s requested us to condemn the work of the mujahidin of Arabia such as al-Miqrin and al-Awfībut we refused. One of our brothers refused to shake hands with Muhammad bin Nayef (Assistant Secretary of Defense) because he said his hands are soaked with the blood of our mujahidin brothers. Until the moment of writing these lines, this brother is still behind bars, may Allah hasten his release. Another brother was given money to get married but he used the money to finance a mujahid who was going to Afghanistan.

Out of their foolishness, the al-Saud government thought that they could buy us as they have bought their clerics such as those in this rehabilitation program. I will give one example of the Shaykh’s in this program: One brother was being advised by this Shaykh who told him that du`ā alone is sufficient and that there is no need for jihad. So the brother asked him: “If someone comes in to your house and wants to rape your wife, would you just make du`ā and not defend her?” The Shaykh said: “Yes. I would make du`ā and I would say to him: I ask Allah that you do not enjoy her!” 

These are the Shaykh’s of these rehabilitation programs, the slaves of money. When our days in prison were over, we were released from the small prison to a larger one. We were freed but we were still like prisoners. We were hounded by the intelligence services and their laws and regulations were being pounded on us. We were continuously being called in for questioning and they would use the excuse that they just wanted to check on our wellbeing. The vehicles of the intelligence services would follow us wherever we went. Our every move was being monitored. We were then banned from traveling to any local city except after obtaining a written permission. We had to furnish information on the type of vehicle we intended to use for travel, the number of people who would accompany us along with their names, the place of destination, the exact locations we planned on visiting, when we would return, and we had to provide mobile contact numbers that could be used whenever they wanted to contact us. Restrictions were increasing by the day. During this time we were searching for ways to join our brothers at the fronts of jihad. We were able to establish some contact with our brothers in Yemen. 

We prepared our departure route but the surveillance on us was increasing. My entire village was being surrounded and wherever I went, I would be followed overtly. This shameless pursuit would occur even if I was being accompanied by my family. If I went into a masjid to pray, they would come in to pray. If I entered a store, they enter after me, if I ride my car they ride theirs, if I come out of my car they would come out of theirs. I prayed istikhārā and decided to start my journey towards Yemen. When I did, heavy rain fell which made visibility so difficult that I was able to sneak out in the presence of all the intelligence officers that were following me. All praise is due to Allah. I wish that I had put dirt on their heads just like the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم did in his hijra to let them know that I was about to make my own hijra too.

We traveled to join our beloved mujahidin brothers. We traveled to the land of honor. We passed through until we reached the border of Yemen where we left behind our car and left behind us this worthless world to go to the land of īmān, the land of the ansār who have given the greatest examples of supporting, hosting, and sacrificing for the religion. Their welcoming of us was amazing.

We are now living with the finest of brothers. Finally, I have this message to the al-Saud rulers: Die in your rage. I ask Allah to grant us steadfastness and support and I encourage my brothers to prepare for jihad and to fight jihad. The doors of jihad are many and one of them is the individual jihad. 

Dear brother, never belittle your ability. Ramzi Yusuf was a single individual and yet he was an example of someone who fought jihad alone. Do not let the American soldier, the British or Danish soldier or any other disbelieving soldier be better than you in defending his principles and realize that this is the price you need to pay for Paradise. Paradise is where you will see things which an eye has never seen, an ear has never heard and a mind has never imagined.

< Taken from the “America And The Final Trap” documentary.

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