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Biden administration sends home first Guantanamo detainee

The Moroccan man, Abdullatif Nasser, was sent to Guantanamo in May 2002.

Published: July 19, 2021 10:02am

Updated: July 19, 2021 11:52am

The Biden administration on Monday officially release its first detainee from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The detainee has been identified as Abdullatif Nasser, a Moroccan man in his 50s who has returned to his home country, according to the Associated Press.

The facility was established by the U.S. in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks to allow the U.S. to capture and detain those on battlefields whom it thought be involved in terror-related activities.

Nasser was cleared for release in 2016 by a review board. However, former President Trump never authorized his release.

The Pentagon says Nasser no longer posed a threat to U.S. national security.

Nasser was placed in police custody upon his arrival in Morocco. The Moroccan government said he would be investigated on suspicion of terrorist acts. Nasser was never charged in Guantanamo.

The facility was established in 2002 under President George W. Bush during the war on terror. It has faced years of controversy over such issues as extreme interrogation tactics including waterboarding and holding detainees without charging them.

There are 39 inmates still remaining at Guantánamo. Ten are eligible to be transferred out and 17 are eligible to go through the review process for possible transfer. Another 10 are involved in the U.S. military commission process used to prosecute detainees and two have been convicted, the Associated Press also reports.

The State Department said in a statement the administration would continue a "deliberate and thorough process” to reduce the detainee population at Guantánamo, while also safeguarding the security of the United States and its allies. 

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