‘Enemy combatant’ lived in Sweden

A man who previously lived in Sweden as an asylum seeker, and is now imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, has been officially classed by US authorities as an 'enemy combatant'.

Somalian Gouled Hassan Dourad, 33, was among 14 prisoners transferred to the Guantánamo base on Cuba last autumn from secret CIA prisons elsewhere in the world. The prisoners were classed as ‘high-value detainees’.

Dourad and the other 13 prisoners were officially classed as ‘enemy combatants’ last week. This means they can be tried by a military commission, according to the US Department of Defense.

The US revealed last December that Dourad lived in Sweden between 1993 and 1996, something that Swedish blogger Per Gudmundson reported on at the time.

According to Svenska Dagbladet Dourad made contact with an imam in a Somalian mosque in Sweden who helped him travel to an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. He is later believed to have returned to Somalia.

US military authorities say he was head of al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, a group that supported al-Qaeda in Somalia. He is also alleged to have been a member of an East African al-Qaeda cell. The Americans say he was party to a number of planned terror attacks.

Dourad was arrested in 2004 and sent to a secret CIA jail, before being moved to Guantánamo. He denies having anything to do with al-Qaeda or any Islamist organization.

The United States claims that the man was granted asylum in Sweden, but the Swedish Board of Migration says it has no record of him.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry says it knows nothing about the case, and the Swedish Security Police (Säpo) told Svenska Dagbladet that it never comments on individual cases.