The transfer of Faez Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari, 40, brings the number of detainees down to 104.
PENTAGON (Talk Media News) – The Pentagon said Friday that it repatriated a Kuwaiti Guantanamo inmate as part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to close the detention center on the U.S. base in Cuba, bringing the number of detainees down to 104.
Faez Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari, 40, was allegedly a “committed member of al Qaeda who served as advisor and confidant to Usama Bin Laden,” according to military documents obtained by the New York Times. He was “an influential religious leader for al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan”, and a “propagandist” who created recruitment materials that payed tribute to the 9/11 hijackers, the documents state.
“On Sept. 8, 2015, the Periodic Review Board [established in 2011 by executive order] consisting 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 determined 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,” a Pentagon statement announcing the transfer said.
Periodic Review Board determined that the “detainee’s threat can be adequately mitigated by the Kuwaiti government’s commitment to require and maintain the detainee’s participation in a rehabilitation program and to implement robust security measures to include monitoring and travel restrictions.”
“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.
The Obama administration has been working to close the detention center in Cuba before the president leaves office, a promise he made during his first campaign.
Obama has received continuous push back from Congress in his efforts to close the facility. During his end of 2015 press conference he indicated that he has not ruled out executive action to close the facility.
“We will wait until Congress has said definitively ‘no’ to a well-thought-out plan with numbers attached to it, before we say anything definitive about my executive authority here,” he said.