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Released Aug 30, 2011 | WikiLeaks | Edited by CrethiPlethi

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) threaten to kill hostages in northern Mali. (AFP/Serge Daniel)

On February 2, 2010, Malian security forces apprehended Cheibani ould Hama (a.k.a. Alhassan ould Mohammed). Cheibani has been accused of participating in the kidnappings of four western tourists along the Mali/Niger border in late December 2008/early January 2009. These were later sold to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Cheibani is also implicated in the kidnapping of Kounta chief Baba ould Sidi Elmoctar. He is in addition the prime suspect in the murders of USDAO-Niamey employee William Bultmeier in December 2000 and in the killing of four Saudi nationals in Niger in December 2009.


Source: WikiLeaks

Reference Created Classification Origin
10BAMAKO75 2010-02-09 09:27 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Bamako

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBP #0075 0400927
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 090927Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BAMAKO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1118
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0719
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 0355
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 0316
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0012
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOAM//

S E C R E T BAMAKO 000075

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2020
TAGS: PINS PREL PTER ML
SUBJECT: MALIAN SECURITY SERVICE ARRESTS CHEIBANI OULD HAMA

Classified By: Political Counselor Peter Newman for reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d)

¶1. (S) On February 2, 2010, Malian security forces
apprehended Cheibani ould Hama (a.k.a. Alhassan ould
Mohammed). Cheibani has been accused of participating in the
kidnappings of four western tourists along the Mali/Niger
border in late December 2008/early January 2009. These were
later sold to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Cheibani is also implicated in the kidnapping of Kounta chief
Baba ould Sidi Elmoctar. He is in addition the prime suspect
in the murders of USDAO-Niamey employee William Bultmeier in
December 2000 and in the killing of four Saudi nationals in
Niger in December 2009.

¶2. (S) Three Embassy contacts have stated that Malian
security forces, probably the DGSE (Mali’s intelligence
service), arrested Cheibani in Gao, Mali. One source stated
that members of his ethnic fraction (from Kidal) arrested
Cheibani and turned him over to the DGSE, but was unwilling
to provide further information.

¶3. (S/NF) The Saudi Embassy to Bamako appears to have exerted
pressure on the GOM to capture Cheibani. Saudi Ambassador
Fawaz Meshel Al Timyat told POL and TDY LEGATT that King
Abdallah calls frequently for an update on the case. Al
Timyat also said he spoke directly with Malian President
Amadou Toumani Toure (ATT), Minister of Internal Security
Gassama Sadio, and DGSE Chief Colonel Mamadou Coulibaly about
Cheibani both before and after the arrest. He believed the
DGSE arrested Cheibani in Kidal and transferred him first to
Gao and then to Bamako over a two day period. (Note: To the
best of Post,s knowledge, Cheibani was arrested in Gao, not
Kidal. End note.) Al Timyat explained to the GOM that
relations between his government and the GOM would be very
strained were Cheibani not apprehended and justice not
delivered.

¶4. (S/NF) LEGATT explained to Al Timyat that the Bultmeier
case was still open, and the USG was interested in
coordinating with the Saudi Government regarding Cheibani.
Al Timyat said his government is interested in obtaining from
Cheibani information regarding his accomplices as well as an
admission of guilt. Al Timyat said his government does not
intend to request the extradition of Cheibani to Saudi
Arabia, or to Niger, where the crime against the Saudis was
committed.

¶5. (S/NF) Al Timyat said it was important that the identity
of the Cheibani in custody is verified to be the same
Cheibani who committed the attack on Saudi citizens. He
twice brought up a rumor that Cheibani had been declared dead
after being imprisoned in 2001-2002. Legatt told Al Timyat
that if the USG were granted access to the fingerprints of
the Cheibani in DGSE custody, the USG would be able to
confirm his identity using the fingerprints taken during
Cheibani’s first imprisonment.

MILOVANOVIC


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