US transfers Guantanamo Bay detainee to Saudi Arabia


The US on Wednesday announced the release of a Saudi engineer from Guantanamo Bay who was suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.


“The Department of Defense announced today the repatriation of Ghassan Al Sharbi from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Pentagon said in a statement.


“On February 4, 2022, the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process determined that continued law of war detention of Ghassan Al Sharbi was no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States,” it added.


The statement noted that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin notified Congress on Sept. 21, 2022 of his intent to repatriate Sharbi to Saudi Arabia.


Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, 48, was suspected of training in bomb-making for Al Qaeda and was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002 but was never brought to trial.


In all, 31 prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, including 17 who are eligible for transfer, according to the Defense Department.


An additional three are eligible for a hearing before a governmental board, while nine are in military court proceedings. The remaining two had previously been convicted in a military court.


Source: Anadolu Agency