Status: Detained (2004)
Organisation/s: Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya
Travel History: Germany(1991); Netherlands (1992) Sweden (1993); Afghanistan and Pakistan (1996); Somalia (1996); Kenya (2001); Djibouti (2003)
Skills/Education/Occupation: Weapons and explosives expert
Gouled Hassan Dourad left Somalia in the beginning of the Somali civil war in 1991 and traveled to Germany in search of asylum. Dourad’s application was rejected, forcing him to travel to the Netherlands where his application for asylum was also rejected. Dourad eventually obtained asylum status in Sweden in 1993 where he became part of a Muslim community. This is where Dourad developed an interest in the emerging Islamist movement in Somalia fighting with Ethiopian forces over Ogaden. Dourad left Sweden in 1996 to train at the Khaldan camp in Kost, Afghanistan for a year before returning to Somalia to train Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) militants against Ethiopian forces. Working in common purpose with Al-Qaeda operatives, Dourad found company with Abu Taha Al-Sudani in 2003 and became involved in managing logistics such as transferring funds, locating safe houses and movement of weapons. Dourad also traveled to Djibouti in 2003 to assess the viability of a U.S Naval base, Camp Lemonnier, as possible target. It was decided that targeting an Ethiopian jetliner was a more viable target. In 2004, Dourad was arrested by Djiboutian authorities and taken into U.S custody, who transferred him to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.
In 2017, Dourad’s case became the subject of former U.S president, Barack Obama’s Guantanamo Task Force, established to review cases of existing detainees for possible release. Dourad appeared before the Periodic Review Board which declined his appeal for release.