Abd al Malik, 41, a Yemeni, was sent to resettle in a peaceful nation, Montenegro. He received a stipend from the government for a time after his release in 2016, but it sold out. He tried to raise funds by selling artwork he made at Guantanamo, but made his last sale last year. The ambition to work as a driver and guide there never materialized when the tourism-dependent economy collapsed. And now he, his wife and their 20-year-old daughter are isolated and mostly at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t know what I can do, especially now with a crown,” he said recently. “No work. Nothing.”
Four of those first 20 men, all released by the Bush administration, could not be found.
Gholam Ruhani, 46, and brother-in-law of one of the Taliban negotiators, returned to Afghanistan in 2007, and that was the last time his lawyer heard of him.
Feroz Abassi was sent home to Britain in 2005, Omar Rajab Amin to Kuwait in 2006 and David Hicks to Australia in 2007. All have been intentionally lost.
Mr. Hicks, 45, an Australian homeless man and convert to Islam, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001. The only other of the original 20 to face charges beyond Mr. Bahlul, he went home after pleading guilty to providing material support to terrorism by serving as a Taliban infantryman, a conviction that was overturned.
Ben Saul, a professor at law school in Sydney, Australia, who in 2016 assisted Mr. Hicks on a human rights case, said the last he heard was that Mr. Hicks was “working in landscaping and had problems ongoing physical and mental health status as a result of his dealings by the US before and on Gitmo. “