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The Biden Administration Is Releasing The First Detainee From Guantanamo Bay

For the first time, the Biden administration has released a detainee from Guantanamo Bay, sending a Moroccan man home years after he was nominated for release.
Abdullatif Nasser, a prisoner in his mid-50s, was cleared for repatriation in July 2016 by a review board.
Yet, he stayed at Guantanamo throughout Trump’s presidency.
The military said in a statement that the Periodic Review Board process found that Nassers’ imprisonment was no longer necessary to defend US national security.
Nassers repatriation was recommended by the board, but it could not be accomplished before the conclusion of the Obama administration, it added.
The transfer of Nasser could indicate that Joe Biden is working to lower the number of people held in Guantanamo Bay, which now stands at 39.
The prisoner transfer process was backed by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, but it froze under Donald Trump.
Even before taking office, Trump stated that no further detainees should be released from “Gitmo,” as Guant√°namo Bay is known.
“They are incredibly dangerous guys,” he added, adding that they should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.
The prospect that former Guantanamo detainees will revert to aggressive behavior has long been a source of concern in the debate over their release.
In 2016, the Director of National Intelligence’s office reported that 17% of the 728 detainees released had been “verified” and 12% had been “suspected” of re-engaging in similar operations.
Yet, the vast majority of those re-engagements were with former inmates who had not gone through Obama’s security assessment process.
A taskforce comprised of agencies such as the Defense Department and the CIA reviewed who was detained at Guantanamo and assessed who may be freed and who should be kept in custody.
The US expressed gratitude to Morocco for allowing Nassers’ relocation.
The military statement read, “The United States commends the Kingdom of Morocco for its long-standing partnership in defending both countries’ national security objectives.”
“The United States is also grateful for the Kingdom’s commitment to support ongoing US efforts to dismantle the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center,” Nasser said. Nasser first learned he would be released in the summer of 2016, when one of his lawyers called him at the detention camp and told him the US had concluded he was no longer a threat and could return home.
He expected to return to Morocco soon.
He added at the time, “I’ve been here 14 years.”
“A few months longer is nothing,” Nasser said of his voyage to the Cuban prison.
According to his Pentagon dossier, he was a member of a pacifist but illegal Moroccan Sufi Islam group in the 1980s.
He was recruited to fight in Chechnya in 1996, but instead wound up in Afghanistan, where he trained at an al-Qaida camp.
After fighting US soldiers in the area, he was apprehended and transferred to Guantanamo Bay in May 2002.
He studied algebra, computer science, and English at Guantanamo, according to a military official appointed to represent him before the review board. He also created a 2,000-word Arabic-English dictionary, according to the official.
Nasser “truly regrets his past conduct,” the official told the board, and voiced confidence in his ability to reintegrate into society.

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