The CIA revealed today it had captured Osama bin Laden’s translator and secretly held him for at least six months until this week when he was turned over to the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay.
Muhammad Rahim was described as “a tough, seasoned jihadist” who “sought chemicals for one attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan,” according to a statement from CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden.
Hayden said Rahim was “best known in counter-terror circles as a personal facilitator and translator” for bin Laden.
CIA officials said they could not discuss how, where or precisely when Rahim was captured or where he was held and interrogated by the CIA since then. A senior U.S. official said he was captured in Pakistan by the Pakistanis who turned him over to CIA custody.
CIA officials said they could not disclose what, if any, intelligence grew out of the interrogation of Rahim, but it is clear he was close to bin Laden.
“Rahim helped prepare Tora Bora as a hideout” for bin Laden in December 2001 as U.S. forces moved into Afghanistan, according to CIA director Hayden.
The CIA said his transfer to the Department of Defense at Guantanamo “was the first such transfer from our interrogation program since April of last year.”
The CIA said his capture was “a blow” to al Qaeda, the Taliban and other anti-Coalition militants in Afghanistan.
The CIA said he was put in the CIA’s high-value target interrogation program because he posed “a continuing threat” to American interests.