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The First Detainee From Guantanamo Bay Is Being Transferred By The Biden Administration

Abdullatif Nasser, a Moroccan prisoner, had been imprisoned by the United States since 2002 without being charged with a crime.
For the first time since President Joe Biden took office, the US has transported a detainee out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, sending a Moroccan man home years after he was recommended for release.
Abdul Latif Nasser, a Moroccan prisoner in his mid-50s, was certified for repatriation by a review board in July 2016, but remained at Guantanamo during former President Donald Trump’s term.
The military stated in a statement on Monday that the Periodic Review Board process found that Nassers’ imprisonment was no longer required to defend US national security.
The board approved Nassers’ repatriation in 2016, but the procedure could not be completed before the end of former President Barack Obama’s administration, which had made dismantling the infamous detention center – long tainted by accusations of extra-legal confinement, denial of rights, and torture – a top aim of his presidency.
Republicans in Congress opposed Obama’s attempts to close the prison, limiting the ability to transfer inmates to the US mainland.
Both Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, were in favor of prisoner transfers.
That process, however, has essentially halted under Trump, who stated before taking office that no further detainees should be released from “Gitmo,” as Guantánamo Bay is known.
He added at the time, “They are incredibly dangerous people who should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”
President Biden’s decision to transfer Nasser could indicate that he is working to reduce the Guantánamo population, which now stands at 39.
Around 800 detainees were housed at the complex’s height.
After Obama’s commitment failed, Biden’s White House initiated a study in February to figure out how to dismantle the jail, but he has been careful not to overpromise.
The US expressed gratitude to Morocco for allowing Nassers’ return to the United States while he was detained without trial.
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 thankful for the Kingdom’s commitment to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center,” the US statement said. Nasser’s voyage to the Cuban prison was long.
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-Qaeda 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.
No charges were ever brought against the former inmate.

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