Biden administration transfers Guantanamo detainees for the first time | free press


It could be a step towards closing Guantanamo Bay: For the first time, the administration of US President Joe Biden has transferred a prisoner to his homeland.

Washington (dpa) – About six months after taking office, the administration of US President Joe Biden transferred a detainee from Guantanamo detention camp to his home country for the first time.

The Defense Ministry said Abdul Latif Nasir was brought to Morocco because he no longer posed a threat to US national security. Morocco had provided security guarantees and promised “humane treatment” for Nasir, it said.

39 detainees are still in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The camp was set up after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks under Republican President George W. Bush to detain suspected Islamist terrorists without trial. Bush’s successor, Democrat Barack Obama, wanted to close it, but failed due to opposition in the US Congress. Republican Donald Trump, in turn, wanted to keep the camp open.

Now Obama’s former Vice President, current President Biden, is again trying to shut it down. The US government is relying on a “deliberate and thorough process” to “responsibly reduce the number of prisoners,” the State Department said.

Nasir, who was transferred to Morocco, was immediately affected by the political back and forth in the US: a commission set up under Obama recommended his resignation in 2016. However, the necessary steps could not be taken before the change of government – and Trump strongly rejected dismissals from the camp.

The Pentagon has not provided any information as to whether Nasir would remain detained or released in Morocco. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Morocco for its willingness to accept Nasir and called on other countries to also accept their citizens who had fought for terrorist organizations abroad.