President Obama has marked the beginning of the new year by releasing 5 detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to Kazakhstan. It’s part of an effort by the Obama administration to keep campaign promises close the controversial detention camp.
According to Reuters, the release of the prisoners is a pattern of accelerating the “resettlement” of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Three Yemenis and two Tunisians held for more than a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo have been flown to Kazakhstan for resettlement, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of prisoner transfers aimed at closing the facility.
Who are some of the detainees being released? The Guardian has some background. Here’s how they described one of the men, Adel Al-Hakeemy:
His compatriot, Hakeemy, also known as Hkiml, 49, had been described by US authorities as a “veteran terrorist” who had allegedly taken part in fighting in Bosnia and was accused of links with an Algerian Islamist group.
But he has maintained he was working as a cook in Italy and had gone to Pakistan to find a wife. He was arrested by Pakistani authorities near the Afghan border and held at Guantánamo for more than 12 years.
However, Asim Thabit Abdullah Al-Khalaqi is a more interesting case.
Khalaqi, 46, born in Saudi Arabia, had been suspected of serving in Osama bin Laden’s Arab brigade.
Arrested in December 2001 in the company of a senior al-Qaida figure, he has been behind bars at Guantánamo since 17 January 2002, among the first inmates to be sent to the prison at Guantánamo Bay.
A report released in September shows that nearly 30% of all released Gitmo detainees returned to the battlefield.
Happy New Year, America!
Courtesy of IJ Review