- D.O.B. February 18, 1965
- ISN 519
- Married, two children
- Resident: West Bank, Gaza, Palestine
- Nationality: Palestinian
Maher al Quwari, a stateless Palestinian, went to Pakistan in an attempt to get official ID from the UN for his family. His children needed ID to attend school. Getting this ID takes time. He stated that he and his family couldn’t have stayed in Pakistan or Iran for that long, because if they did they would have a “problem with the government.” For that reason, he chose to stay in a place that wouldn’t present that kind of problem. That place was Afghanistan. It was said that Jalalabad was the quietest place that had “the fewest problems.”
Maher found work there, and planned to find a home so that he could send for his family. But problems did start to develop. As coalition forces were taking control of the city, he heard that the they were blaming Arabs for killing Ahmed Shah Massoud. They were looking for Arabs. Maher heard that they were being killed. Because of this, he was forced to flee to Tora Bora.
While there he met Abdul Qadus who gave him a job distributing food for a few days until Qadus could arrange transportation to Pakistan. He then told Maher that he was to be taken with other Afghanis to a village called Wazir where he stayed with a family for a bit over a week. One night an Afghani told Maher that he would take him to Jalalabad. He said he would keep him safe there until he could get him into Pakistan.
However, that isn’t what happened. They took him back to Jalalabad and sold him at the checkpoint. He was then taken to a prison. The next day the commander at the checkpoint told Maher that if he could come up with $5,000 he would be freed. Unfortunately, Maher did not have the money. The next day trucks came for him and other Arab prisoners and took them to a prison in Kabul, where the commander of the prison told Maher that he would be paid $10,000 for him. He and the others were tortured for the month they remained there. One month later he was turned over to US Troops and rendered to Bagram and eventually to Guantanamo.
Eventually trucks came for him and other Arab prisoners. They took them to a prison in Kabul, where the commander of the prison told Maher that he would be paid $10,000 for him. One month later he was turned over to US Troops and taken to Bagram and eventually to Guantanamo.
Maher was cleared for release in 2007 but has not been freed. Like Maher, other detainees have also been cleared for release, yet not freed for years.