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Pentagon Transfers Detainee to Algeria, Leaving 30 at Guantanamo

The Defense Department on Thursday announced the transfer of another Guantanamo Bay prisoner, dropping the infamous prison’s population to 30 incarcerated individuals.

The U.S. returned Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002, to his home country of Algeria, according to a release from the Pentagon.

Bakush was repatriated after a board hearing last year determined his detention was no longer necessary to protect U.S. national security. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin notified Congress of his release in February.

President Biden has said he is committed to closing the prison site in Cuba, which has been criticized for its use as a secret facility to torture international prisoners without regard for the law or human rights norms.

The release of Bakush on Thursday and Majid Khan earlier this year leaves 30 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, including 16 who are eligible for transfer.Alito: ‘Legitimate doubts’ Biden admin would have obeyed unfavorable abortion pill ruling Biden establishes Office of Environmental Justice, blasts GOP attempts to roll back IRA

Bakush, 52, was swept up by the U.S. in the wake of the deadly 9/11 attacks as American agents sought to interrogate individuals allegedly connected to terrorist groups. Hundreds of prisoners passed through Guantanamo Bay during the early 2000s, when the facility’s population was at its peak.

Washington accused Bakush of serving as an instructor for extremist groups and of ties to Al Qaeda, though he has long denied charges of terrorism.

During his time at Guantanamo Bay, Bakush was compliant and did not express extremist ideology, according to Human Rights First.

Source: thehill