US to transfer Al Qaeda suspect from Guantanamo to Kuwait

World Friday 08/January/2016 20:09 PM
By: Times News Service
US to transfer Al Qaeda suspect from Guantanamo to Kuwait

Washington: The United States released a suspected Al Qaeda propagandist to the government of Kuwait on Friday, leaving 104 inmates at the US naval prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Defence Department announced the repatriation of Faez Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari, a Kuwaiti who had been held at Guantanamo for 13 years in a statement. It said his detention "does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States."
Kandari, 38, was suspected of being a propagandist and also may have served as "spiritual adviser" to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to a US Department of Defence profile.
Kandari's lawyer, Eric Lewis of the Washington firm Lewis Baach PLLC, said Kandari was transferred on Friday to Kuwait, where he will undergo a medical examination and be put into a rehabilitation program to help him reintegrate into society.
"Al Kandari is delighted to be going home and reuniting with his beloved parents and family after all these years away," Lewis said.
Kandari was the last of 12 Kuwaitis who had been imprisoned at Guantanamo, Lewis said.
The parole-style Periodic Review Board held a hearing in July to consider whether Kandari posed a threat to the United States. In September, it determined his detention was no longer necessary.
The board, established by President Barack Obama in 2011, is comprised of six intelligence and national security departments and agencies. After detainees are approved for transfer, the US government has to find countries willing to take them and provide the necessary security arrangements.
Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the Guantanamo prison, views it as a damaging symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge that he inherited from Republican president George W. Bush.
He is still working on a plan to close it, despite opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress, but a White House spokesman said there is no timetable for a plan on closure.
The transfer of Kandari leaves 104 inmates at the facility, the Pentagon said. Earlier this week, the Defence Department announced that two Yemeni detainees were transferred to Ghana.