12 years of harsh detention at Guantanamo Bay came to an end for a pair of Saudi citizens today, with the announcement that they are being transferred back to Saudi Arabia. Neither was ever charged with a crime.
35-year-old Muhammad Qahtani was a student who went to Afghanistan in 2001 to fight alongside the Taliban. After spending a third of his life in US custody, uncharged, he is hoping to reunite with his family and complete his education.
The other detainee, 48-year-old Hamoud Abdullah Hamoud, was actually incorrectly listed as a Yemeni for years, and both he and Qahtani were cleared for release in January 2009.
Qahtani fought briefly alongside the Taliban before fleeing to Pakistan and getting captured. Hamoud was accused of being a “money courier” for the Taliban and likewise was captured in Pakistan. It is unclear what will happen to them upon return to Saudi Arabia, but in the past the Saudis have forced released detainees to enter a “reeducation” program, whether they were accused of crimes or not.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Trump Officials Trying to Finalize Legal Language to Expand Gitmo's Use - August 20th, 2017
- White House Continues to Talk Up 'Preventative War' Against North Korea - August 20th, 2017
- Trump Elevates US Cyber Command to a Formal Military Command - August 20th, 2017
- Abbas: After 20 Meetings I Still Don't Understand Trump's Peace Plan - August 20th, 2017
- Lebanon's Army Advances Deep Into ISIS-Held Border Territory - August 20th, 2017