The Pentagon has released the names of all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. The list contains information on 759 Muslim detainees from Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. The list also includes two Bangladeshi citizens. The two Bangladeshis are listed in the table below:
|Name||ISN||Citizenship||Place of Birth||Date of Birth|
AL-DEEN, JAMAL MUHAMMAD
HASHEM, MUBARAK HUSSAIN BIN ABUL
Looking at the information provided by the Pentagon, a number of things strike me as unusual or incorrect. First, the place of birth of the second Bangladeshi detainee is listed as "Baria, BG". I think this is likely incorrect. The location the Pentagon may be referring to is likely to be Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh. Both Feni and Brahmanbaria are located in the eastern part of Bangladesh and abut the district of Comilla. This area is known in Bangladesh as an area where there is a large Hindu minority. Brahmanbaria and Feni would not be considered in Bangladesh as places that are likely to be breeding grounds for terrorists.
An obvious omission is the birth dates. Apparently the Pentagon knows the detainees’ birth years and not their birth dates. This suggests that the detainees are likely to be poor and illiterate. The names of the detainees also are unusual names for Bengalis. Especially the name "Mubarak Hussain bin Abul Hashem" seems unusual since the "bin" construction (meaning "son of" ) is normally not taken by Bengali Muslims – this construction is traditionally used in the Arab world.
The information released by the Pentagon, on close examination, suggests that after 4 years of detention the United States Government does not have complete or accurate information on, at the very least, the Bangladeshi detainees. These two men may be terrorists or they may be hapless individuals caught up in a Superpower’s global anti-terrorism dragnet. The lack of accurate information found in just this document released by the Pentagon suggests that the United States military cannot be sure who they are holding and whether these people have any links to terrorism. It is just this kind of inadequate information that may lead to the false imprisonment of innocents in this global struggle. It is just these kinds of errors that can be prevented or reduced if the United States brings the prison in Guantanamo Bay out of the shadows and under the protections of the Geneva Conventions.