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Washington has extradited Riyadh, a Saudi engineer who had been held for 21 years at the Guantanamo military prison on suspicion of involvement in the September 11 attacks, without charge.

The Pentagon said the freed man was Ghazan Abdullah al-Sharbi, 48, of Jeddah, who was arrested in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in March 2002 along with another member Washington says was in al-Qaeda.

Al-Sharbi was suspected because he studied engineering at an aeronautics university in Arizona and attended flight classes with two of them, according to Washington.

Initially, the Pentagon considered pressing charges against him, but that did not happen, and al-Sharbi was held in a prison at a military base on the island of Cuba and described as an “enemy combatant.”

Until early last year, al-Sharbi’s fate at Guantanamo was unclear because U.S. officials had not tried him and agreed to release him like others.

However, his fate changed in February 2022, when a Pentagon panel charged with reviewing requests for release issued a decision authorizing al-Sharbi’s release, justifying its conclusion that al-Sharbi never held a leadership position in al-Qaeda’s hierarchy. , and throughout his detention, followed prison rules.

The panel also justified its conclusion that al-Sharbi was suffering from “physical and mental problems”, the nature of which was not specified.

In its decision, the panel said al-Sharbi was eligible to join a Saudi-run program to rehabilitate militants.

The Saudi plan is aimed at persuading militants to gradually abandon extremist ideology, while ensuring they remain under surveillance as they return to civilian life.

With al-Sharbi’s release, the number of Guantanamo detainees dropped to 31 out of 800 inmates.

See also  The Palestinian death toll rose to 15,000 and more than 36,000 were injured as a result of Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Copyright: Getty Images

Image caption: The infamous Quantamo, where 21-year-old Saudi engineer Ghazan al-Sharbi was held without charge.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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