Pentagon announces Guantánamo detainee transfer to Kuwait

Pentagon announces Guantánamo detainee transfer to Kuwait
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The Pentagon announced on Friday the release of another detainee from Guantánamo Bay, following two releases earlier this week.  

The detainee, Faez Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari, has been repatriated to Kuwait, the Defense Department announced in a statement. 

The Pentagon said a board set up to review detainees' eligibility for release determined by consensus on Sept. 8, 2015, that "continued law of war detention of Al-Kandari does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. 

The Periodic Review Board, established by executive order by President Obama in 2011, consists of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

"The United States is grateful to the government of the State of Kuwait for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the Pentagon statement said.

"The United States coordinated with the government of the State of Kuwait to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures," it said. 

Kandari is 40, and was assessed to be a senior adviser and confidant to Osama bin Laden, according to official documents published by The New York Times. 

Kandari had been detained at Guantánamo since 2002 and is the last Kuwaiti detainee to leave the facility. 

Human Rights First praised the transfer, but urged Obama to increase the pace of transfers in order to meet his campaign pledge to close the facility.

"Today’s transfer comes days before President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address that is expected to highlight his intention to close Guantanamo before the end of his second term," the organization said. 

“President Obama has stated time and time again that he intends to close Guantanamo, including in previous State of the Union speeches,” said Human Rights First’s senior counsel for Defense and Intelligence, Raha Wala. “But now is the time to act; if the president is serious about closing Guantanamo he needs to deliver a plan to Congress with concrete steps for how he intends to do it.”

The administration is planning to transfer 14 more detainees by the end of the month.