Prisoner Released By US After Being Held For 20 Years Without Charges
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Featured Image Credit: Department Of Correction
A prisoner who has been held in Guantánamo Bay for 20 years without charges has been cleared for release.
Hassan bin Attash is said to be the youngest detainee at the prison and has spent his entire life in US custody.
The New York Times report that at a Periodic Review Board hearing, which occurred on 25 January, an unidentified US military officer described the detainee as believing that 'his capture and subsequent detention had changed the trajectory of his life'.
The publication report that Attash's birth date was unknown, and could range from between 1982 to 1985.
He was first captured in a Pakistani security services raid on 11 September 2002 alongside Ramzi bin al-Shibh and his brother, Walid; both of whom were accused of helping plot the 9/11 attacks.
However, Hassan has never been charged with an actual crime.
Both brothers have been held at the prison since 2006 and are said to be imprisoned in different buildings. They have apparently never been allowed to see one another, according to their lawyers.
Hassan was raised in Saudi Arabia in a family with several sons who would go on to join jihad in Afghanistan.
The board’s decision said that he 'presents some level of threat', but that he had been a 'positive influence' at the prison.
Plans are being put in place for him to be sent to a country with 'strong rehabilitation and reintegration program' and 'enhanced monitoring', but it is reportedly up to the Biden administration to actually find a country willing to offer him rehabilitation.
An announcement by the the Defense Department reads: "The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee is no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States.
"In making this determination, the Board recognized the detainee presents some level of threat. However, the Board found the threat can be adequately mitigated.
"The board considered the age of the detainee at the time of his involvement with extremists, the ability of the USG to identify a receiving country that will address the risks involved, the detainee's expressed willingness to participate in a rehabilitation program the support available to the detainee if transferred, and the detainee's positive influence within the camps.
"Finally, the Board considered that the detainee was more candid with the Board in response to questions in comparison to the last hearing he attended.
"The recommends the following conditions that relate to the detainee's transfer: Transfer to a country with a strong rehabilitation and reintegration program which includes enhanced monitoring."
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