Second Guantanamo Detainee Released in a Week

Posted September 25, 2015 at 5:00am

The Miami Herald reports that the “military freed one of Guantánamo’s most determined hunger strikers to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, a former ‘forever prisoner’ brought here the day Camp X-Ray opened as a suspected bodyguard of Osama bin Laden.”  

“Now, 52 of the captives are cleared for release to special security agreements with other countries. Saudi Abdul Rahman Shalabi, 39, was repatriated less than a week after the United States sent a Moroccan home restrained inside a U.S. military cargo plane. The Saudis, however, have a longstanding special arrangement with its ally the United States to fetch their freed captives, sparing them a ride home in shackles.”  

“Shalabi was never charged with a crime at Guantánamo. U.S. forces brought him to this U.S. Navy base on Jan. 11, 2002, the day the Bush administration opened prison operations here, and held him as Detainee 42. His transfer leaves seven of those 20 first-day detainees — dubbed ‘the worst of the worst’ — at the prison. In January 2010, an Obama administration task force designated him an indefinite detainee — or so-called forever prisoner — considered too dangerous to release but for whom there was insufficient evidence to take to trial. A parole board lifted that designation in June, approving his release in a statement that expressed confidence in the Saudis’ rehabilitation program for Islamic extremists.”