The 21st Century Phenomenon




* David  Hicks, an Australian citizen, was born in Australia on 08/07/1975  to a Christian family in the southern city of Adelaide. His parents described him as a “typical boy who couldn’t settle down” and, as a teenager, he experimented with drink and drugs and was expelled from school at 14.

David  Hicks tried various jobs, including skinning kangaroos at a meat-packing factory and fishing for sharks. While working on a series of cattle ranches in the outback, he met Jodie Sparrow, with whom he had two children. The couple separated in late 1997 and Hicks decided to become a horse trainer in Japan.

One day in 1998, he phoned his parents to tell them he had decided to join an organization called the KLA but his parents did not understand the meaning and thought he was, maybe, working in commercial airliner company. In fact David  Hicks joined, through the web, the Kosovo Liberation Army, an Islamic militant organization with links to Al Qaeda.

David  Hicks returned for a short time to Australia, converted to Islam and soon, probably in 1999, went to Pakistan, where he joined the banned Kashmiri Islamist group Lashkar-e-Toiba.

At some stage in 2001, David  Hicks, like almost all Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives, attended an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and also participated in an advanced al-Qaeda course on information collection.

David  Hicks’s last phone call home to his parents before his capture was from just outside the southern Afghan city of Kandahar in November 2001.

David Hicks worked as a translator with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He was caught in 12/2001 during operation “Absolute Justice” and was transferred to Guantanamo. Because he kept his relations with his family they soon mobilized the public opinion to his capture and to the fact that David  Hicks was detained without being accused and charged.

After a judicial tangle and intervention of the Australian government, David  Hicks, after withdrewing claims that he had been abused by members of the US military while in custody, pleaded guilty on 03/26/2007 of providing material support for terrorism. He was the first person to be formally convicted at Guantanamo. Under the terms of a plea bargain with prosecutors, he was given a seven-year sentence to be served in his native Australia. However, he will only have to serve nine months from the date of his conviction.

On 05/20/2007 David Hicks was flown back to Australia to serve 7 more months in Yatala prison near Adelaide. He is supposed to be released from Australian jail in 12/2007 and be a free man.  David  Hicks was released from Australian jail to freedom on 12/28/2007.

Australian police was considering whether David  Hicks should be sued for any profits he earns from his new autobiography, “Guantanamo: My Journey”,  in which he chronicles his five-year ordeal in Guantanamo.

A spokesman for Robert McClelland, the attorney-general said, on Sunday 10/17/2010, that the Australian Federal Police would have to investigate and provide federal prosecutors with a brief of evidence before they can decide whether to sue David  Hicks under the Proceeds of Crime Act.


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