WASHINGTON: The Biden administration on Monday transferred a detainee out of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility for the primary time, sending a Moroccan man again residence years after he was advisable for discharge.
The Moroccan prisoner, Abdullatif Nasser, who’s in his mid-50s, was cleared for repatriation by a evaluate board in July 2016 however remained at Guantanamo during the Trump presidency.
The Periodic Assessment Board course of decided that Nasser’s detention now not remained obligatory to guard U.S. nationwide safety, the Pentagon mentioned Monday in a press release.
The board advisable authorisation for Nasser’s repatriation, however that could not be accomplished earlier than the top of the Obama administration, it mentioned.
The switch of Nasser may counsel President Joe Biden is making efforts to cut back the Guantanamo inhabitants, which now stands at 39.
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama supported the prisoner switch course of, nevertheless it stalled beneath President Donald Trump.
Trump mentioned even earlier than he took workplace that there ought to be no additional releases from “Gitmo,” as Guantanamo Bay is commonly referred to as.
“These are extraordinarily harmful individuals and shouldn’t be allowed again onto the battlefield,” he mentioned then.
The chance that former Guantanamo prisoners would resume hostile actions has lengthy been a priority that has performed into the controversy over releases.
The workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence mentioned in a 2016 report that about 17 per cent of the 728 detainees who had been launched have been “confirmed” and 12 per cent have been “suspected” of re-engaging in such actions.
However the overwhelming majority of these re-engagements occurred with former prisoners who didn’t undergo the safety evaluate that was arrange beneath Obama.
A job pressure that included companies such because the Protection Division and the CIA analysed who was held at Guantanamo and decided who may very well be launched and who ought to proceed in detention.
The U.S. thanked Morocco for facilitating Nasser’s switch again residence.
“The US commends the Kingdom of Morocco for its long-time partnership in securing each nations’ nationwide safety pursuits,” the Pentagon assertion mentioned.
The US can also be extraordinarily grateful for the Kingdom’s willingness to assist ongoing US. efforts to shut the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
“Nasser initially obtained information he was going to be launched in the summertime of 2016, when one among his legal professionals referred to as him on the detention middle and informed him the U.S. had determined he now not posed a risk and will go residence. He thought he’d returned to Morocco quickly: I have been right here 14 years, he mentioned on the time.
“A couple of months extra is nothing.”
Nasser’s journey to the Cuban jail was an extended one.
He was a member of a nonviolent however unlawful Moroccan Sufi Islam group within the Eighties, in keeping with his Pentagon file.
In 1996, he was recruited to struggle in Chechyna however ended up in Afghanistan, the place he skilled at an al-Qaida camp.
He was captured after preventing U.S. forces there and despatched to Guantanamo in Could 2002.
An unidentified army official appointed to signify him earlier than the evaluate board mentioned he studied math, laptop science and English at Guantanamo, making a 2,000-word Arabic-English dictionary.
The official informed the board that Nasser “deeply regrets his actions of the previous” and expressed confidence he would reintegrate in society.