Mohamed Al-Qahtani

Detainee #063

On August 4, 2001, a 26 year-old Saudi named Mohamed al-Qahtani flew from London to Orlando, Florida with $2800 in his pocket, but no return ticket. An alert immigration officer refused him entry. Seven months after he was captured on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in late 2001, a routine FBI fingerprint check established that al-Qahtani was the man who had been turned away in Orlando and so might be the so-called "20th hijacker," recruited as "muscle" to help overpower passengers on United 93. The intensified interest in the prisoner known as detainee #063, by then in custody at Guantanamo, led to the first "special interrogation plan" authorized by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld at the prison camp. A leaked military log of al-Qahtani's interrogation detailed sleep deprivation, prolonged stress positions, and sexual humiliation. In May 2008, without explanation, the Pentagon dropped all charges against him; he remains in U.S. custody.

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