Ex Gitmo Inmates Linked to Bomb

Al-Qaeda leaders did art therapy, were freed in Saudi Arabia
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2009 3:12 AM CST
Updated Dec 29, 2009 6:46 AM CST
Ex Gitmo Inmates Linked to Bomb
Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is shown in 2001 on a school trip to London.   (AP Photo)

Two former Guantanamo Bay inmates are believed to be behind the plot to blow up the Northwest flight to Detroit, according to officials and Defense Department documents. Muhamad Attik al-Harbi—who now calls himself Muhamad al-Awfi—and Said Ali Shari were sent in 2007 to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were released, reports ABC News. Both Saudi nationals have since emerged in al-Qaeda leadership roles in Yemen.

Bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, has told FBI officials that he was trained for his mission in Yemen by top leaders of al-Qaeda who provided him with the explosive materials. A statement yesterday from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the plot and praised Abdulmutallab as a "hero" and "martyr." (More Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab stories.)

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