Umar will begin receiving retirement benefits, including Medicare and Social Security, as early as 2020. Classified an enemy combatant, Umar has been in American custody since U.S. Special Forces captured him during the Battle of Tora Bora in 2001.
“I’m so close now,” said Umar. “I’ve almost got my 20 and then that’s it for me. I’m headed to the detention facility at Camp Living Room.”
Based on a legal loophole discovered by Umar’s lawyer, Umar’s time in Guantanamo Bay, or GTMO, is considered time residing in the United States or as performing military service. As such, Umar is entitled to begin receiving retirement benefits after 20 years of service.
“I had recommended just repatriating him to Afghanistan before he makes it,” said Lt. Col. Maxwell Hillsborough, a member of the JAG Corps supporting the detention facility, “but it turns out he’s in sanctuary. So, we can’t touch him.”
The federal Sanctuary Program is designed to protect military service members from being forced into retirement early when they are within two years of attaining enough years of service to qualify for an active-duty retirement.
“It’s been a long haul,” replied Umar, “but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was torture at times, but I’m almost at the end. I never saw myself as a lifer, but here I am.”
When asked about his future plans after retiring, Umar said he was considering staying on as a detainee, but as a contractor.
“If the contractor thing doesn’t pan out,” said Umar, “I may just open a post-911 Jihad veteran chai company. Name the tea blends after different weapons and IEDs. Make some YouTube videos or something. The younger Jihadists would totally buy that sort of thing.”