National Security

DOD: Gitmo detainee who sought to participate in 9/11 sent home to Saudi Arabia

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The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Monday that a Guantanamo Bay detainee it says sought to participate in the 9/11 terror attacks will be repatriated to Saudi Arabia.

The Periodic Review Board determined in June that the detention of Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani was “no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States.”

On the board’s recommendation, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin determined on Feb. 4 to repatriate al-Qahtani.

The requirements for responsible transfers, which include “security and humane treatment assurances,” were fulfilled before al-Qahtani’s return to his home country.

“The United States appreciates the willingness of Saudi Arabia and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts toward a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing of the Guantanamo Bay facility,” the DOD said in a statement.

The DOD had previously said that al-Qahtani had been trained by al Qaeda and sought to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, but his attempt to enter the U.S. that August was unsuccessful, according to Reuters.

NBC News reported that his attorneys have said he has shown symptoms of schizophrenia since an early age and that he is to receive treatment at a psychiatric facility.

Thirty-eight people are still detained at Guantanamo Bay. According to the Pentagon, 19 are eligible for transfer and seven for the Periodic Review Board, while 10 are involved in the military commissions process and two have been convicted in military commissions.

The review panel, which was established by former President Obama in 2011, is made up of a senior official from each of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State as well as the Joint Staff and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Tags 9/11 9/11 terror attacks Barack Obama Lloyd Austin Saudi Arabia Sept. 11 attacks Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
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