by Florian Flade
O sea, give me news of my loved ones.
Were it not for the chains of the faithless, I would have dived into you,
And reached my beloved family, or perished in your arms.
Your beaches are sadness, captivity, pain, and injustice.
Your bitterness eats away at my patience.
Your calm is like death, your sweeping waves are strange.
The silence that rises up from you holds treachery in its fold.
Your stillness will kill the captain if it persists,
And the navigator will drown in your waves.
Gentle, deaf, mute, ignoring, angrily storming,
You carry graves.
If the wind enrages you, your injustice is obvious.
If the wind silences you, there is just the ebb and flow.
O sea, do our chains offend you?
It is only under compulsion that we daily come and go.
Do you know our sins?
Do you understand we were cast into this gloom?
O sea, you taunt us in our captivity.
You have colluded with our enemies and you cruelly guard us.
Don’t the rocks tell you of the crimes committed in their midst?
Doesn’t Cuba, the vanquished, translate its stories for you?
You have been beside us for three years, and what have you gained?
Boats of poetry on the sea; a buried flame in a burning heart.
The poet’s words are the font of our power;
His verse is the salve for our pained hearts.
This poem was written by a former Guantánamo Bay prisoner No.192 named Ibrahim Sulaiman Mohammad al-Rubaish who is now acting as a spiritual leader within the terrorist network of Al-Qaida in Yemen. The 32 year-old Saudi had been captured at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in late 2001 shortly after the battle of Tora Bora. He allegedly was an Al-Qaida fighter back then who was trained at Al-Qaida´s Al-Farooq camp in Afghanistan.
Al-Rubaish was sent to the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay and held there till he was transferred back to his home country of Saudi-Arabia on December 13 2006. Born in the conservative region of Buridah in 1980, Ibrahim al-Rubaish graduated from the Imam Mohammad Bin Saud University in Shariah law before he went to Afghanistan and joined Al-Qaida.
In Saudi-Arabia al-Rubaish entered the rehabilitation program for Jihadi militants created by the Saudi interior ministry. Before he finished the program, Al-Rubaish disappeared in Spring 2008. He traveled to Yemen and along with 11 other former Saudi Guantánamo prisoners joined Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leaving behind his wife and three children. Shortly after his disappearance Al-Rubaish´s name appeared on the „85 Most Wanted“ list of terrorists wanted by the Saudi authorities.
For the first time Al-Qaida in Yemen presented the former Guantánamo prisoner as a high-ranking Jihadi leader by releasing a audio tape titled „Why Mohammad Bin Nayif?“ in which he justified the assassination attempt on the Saudi interior minister and member of the royal family, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayif carried out by an Al-Qaida suicide bomber in September 2009.
Several other audio messages by Al-Rubaish followed since then, all of them dealing mainly with religious and Shariah based topics. Within a few years the former Guantánamo inmate rose to the ranks of a prominent religious ideologue and spiritual leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
For the first time Ibrahim al-Rubaish appears in the latest propaganda tape released by AQAP – „One Ummah“.