Breaking News: Dead Guantanamo Detainee Is Adnan Latif

By Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 12:22 PM

At least, that’s what I’m hearing. Yes, this is the same Latif whose case riled the D.C. Circuit and has caused much discussion on this site. This is going to be a big deal. Stay tuned. UPDATE: Here is SouthCom’s press release:

MIAMI -- Joint Task Force Guantanamo released the identity of the detainee who died on Saturday, September 8, 2012. The detainee is identified as Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a 32-year-old Yemeni. Latif arrived at Guantanamo in January 2002 and was being detained consistent with the law of war. The detainee’s name was withheld pending family notification. Following the detainee’s death, an autopsy was conducted by a medical examination team from the office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death. Autopsy results and cause of death determinations take time, and therefore are not available for release. As a matter of Department of Defense policy, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has initiated an investigation of the incident to determine the cause and manner surrounding the death. Additionally, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, JTF-Guantanamo’s higher command, has initiated a Commander’s Inquiry into the incident. The remains of the deceased detainee are being treated with respect for Islamic culture and traditions. Following the autopsy, a Muslim military chaplain, the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Cultural Advisor, and Islamic volunteers from the staff were on hand to ensure the appropriate handling of the body. Joint Task Force Guantanamo continues to provide safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees. This mission is being performed professionally by the men and women of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

Here's the Washington Post on the story. Here's the AP. Here's a statement emailed me by Latif's lawyer, David Remes:

Yesterday, the press reported that a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo had died. The detainee was our client, Adnan Latif, ISN 156, whom we represented since 2004. Slightly built and gentle, he was a father and husband. He was a talented poet, and was devoutly religious. He never posed a threat to the United States, and he never should have been brought to Guantanamo. The military has not stated a cause of death. However Adnan died, it was Guantanamo that killed him. His death is a reminder of the human cost of the government's Guantanamo detention policy and underscores the urgency of releasing detainees the government does not intend to prosecute.