RIYADH – United States of America (USA) on Wednesday (8/3/2023) announced the release of an engineer Arab Saudi Ghassan Al Sharbi (48) from Teluk Guantanamo . He is suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC
“The Department of Defense today announced 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, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
“On February 4, 2022, the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process determined that the continued restraining of war law against Ghassan Al Sharbi is no longer necessary to protect against continued significant threats to the national security of the United States,” the statement continued.
The US military had weighed the charges against Sharbi and several others, but dropped them in 2008. However, the US continues to hold him as an enemy fighter in a military prison at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and his status remains in limbo – he has never been charged but has also not approved for release.
The review board said in a statement on Wednesday that it recommended that Sharbi be transferred to Saudi custody “subject to the implementation of a comprehensive set of security measures including monitoring, travel restrictions and continued information sharing.”
With Sharbi’s release, 31 detainees remain at Guantanamo, down from a peak of nearly 800. Of those 17 are eligible for transfer and the Pentagon and State Department are seeking countries to accept them.
Three others are eligible for review by the Periodic Review Board, while nine face charges under a military commission and two have been convicted before that commission.
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