The Pentagon on Thursday announced the transfer of another two inmates from the Guantanamo Bay military prison, bringing the controversial facility’s remaining population down to 91.
Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah was sent to Bosnia, while Abd al-Aziz Abduh Abdallah Ali Al-Suwaydi was transferred to Montenegro.
According to their leaked prisoner files, Sawah is a citizen of Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Al-Suwaydi is from Yemen.
The transfers mark another step as the administration of US President Barack Obama struggles to close the facility. About 780 inmates have been held there since it opened in January 2002.
“The United States is grateful to the government of Montenegro for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement announcing Al-Suwaydi’s release.
“The United States coordinated with the government of Montenegro to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”
The statement did not give further details, but typically Guantanamo inmates are released on condition they undergo a rehabilitation or reintegration program to make sure they do not threaten US security interests.
Al-Suwaydi, 41, was allegedly an Al-Qaeda member and explosives trainer, according to his file. He was captured in Pakistan in February 2002.
Sawah, 58, was captured in December 2001 and first recommended for release in 2007.
He allegedly admitted to being in Al-Qaeda and developing explosives for the jihadist group, including limpet mines for use against US ships and a prototype shoe bomb.
Despite this purported past, he was a “highly prolific source and has provided invaluable intelligence,” Sawah’s file states. The 2008 document notes he was morbidly obese at the time.
Of the remaining 91 men in Guantanamo, 34 have been approved for transfer. The rest face ongoing, indefinite detention.
Obama wants these men to be transferred to federal facilities in the United States and has asked the Pentagon to come up with proposals for a “Guantanamo North” so he can shut the Cuban prison.
But delays, bureaucratic hurdles and political opposition mean it is increasingly likely the clock will tick down on his presidency before Guantanamo closes.
Inmates are kept without recourse to the regular US legal processes and some likely will die in prison without ever being convicted of a crime.
New York’s coronavirus crisis tracked back to European travel — not China: scientists
The New York Times reported Wednesday that scientists have tracked the cases of coronavirus in New York back to travel from Europe.
The Times explained that genomes show the link to those who came down with the virus back in February.
President Donald Trump has been celebrating his decision to shut down some travel from China, though not all travel. A whopping 430,000 people have traveled from China to the United States since the coronavirus crisis.
Warrant for journalists from Jerry Falwell Jr. came from Liberty University’s own police
A right-wing commentator interviewed Jerry Falwell Jr. during his show Wednesday, where Falwell said that there were two arrest warrants open for reporters who came onto Liberty University's campus.
Upon further examination of the warrant, the police officer who signed the warrant was Detective/Sgt. A.B. Wilkins 206 LUPD. The LUPD is not the Lynchburg Police Department nor is there a Sgt. or Detective A.B. Wilkins. It's the police department under the authority of Liberty University.
Trump defenders Diamond and Silk locked out of Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation
Fox Nation hosts Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, better known as Diamond & Silk, were temporarily locked out of Twitter on Wednesday for urging people to go outside and develop immunity against the coronavirus.
“The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!” the pair tweeted from their joint account.
A spokesperson for Twitter told Mediaite their account was locked over the tweet.