WASHINGTON, D.C. (Talk Media News) – The Pentagon announced Thursday that it transferred two detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military detention center, bringing the number of those held there to 91.
The Pentagon moved Yemeni national Abd al-Aziz Abduh Abdallah Ali Al-Suwaydi, 41, to Montenegro, and repatriated Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, 58, to Bosnia.
Suwaydi was a member of al-Qaeda who worked on explosives and as a member of Osama bin Laden’s elite guerrilla 55th Arab Brigade, according to military documents obtained by the New York Times. Sawah was “an admitted” member of al-Qaeda who developed improvised explosives devices (IEDs) for use against U.S. military forces and civilians, according to military documents obtained by the New York Times.
In a statement, the Department of Defense thanked the governments of Montenegro and Bosnia for their “humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”
Both cases were reviewed with proper procedure, the DOD said, and as required by law, ran by Congress before transfer.
Both men had been held at the dentition center in Cuba for more than 13 years.
At time time of the announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement asserting that, ”If you don’t have a case against somebody under the constitution of the US and our own values, you can’t just imprison people for life on a suspicion or some sort of battlefield arrest.”
President Barack Obama has made closing the facility during his last year in office a priority, as he pledged to do in his 2007 campaign. Obama has said the facility harms U.S. national security, at times being used as a recruitment tool for terrorists.
The Pentagon sent a plan to close the facility to the White House earlier this month, which includes what to do with inmates who are deemed to risky to transfer out of U.S. control.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Thursday that he hopes the plan “soon will go to Congress for their consideration.”