In what can only be chalked up as a political move aimed at closing the detainment camp at Guantanamo Bay quickly, President Obama released Abdul Rahman Shalabi a man suspected of numerous terror acts.
He served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and was trained to be the 20th terrorist on 9/11/2001. He was widely considered one of the core group of “permanent prisoners.” In other words, he was a very very bad guy with no ambiguity.
Shalabi has been at Gitmo since it opened and has been the longest detainee on a hunger strike. His bodyweight fell drastically and had to be force fed through a tube.
Now he is off to Saudi Arabia. Let us know in the comments if you think the Saudis will be more or less harsh than Gitmo!
From the Miami Herald:
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, CUBA
The military freed one of Guantánamo’s most determined hunger strikers to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, a former “forever prisoner” brought here the day Camp X-Ray opened as a suspected bodyguard of Osama bin Laden.
The release, to a Saudi jet on this base’s air strip, left the prison camp population at 114. Now, 52 of the captives are cleared for release to special security agreements with other countries.
Saudi Abdul Rahman Shalabi, 39, was repatriated less than a week after the United States sent a Moroccan home restrained inside a U.S. military cargo plane. The Saudis, however, have a longstanding special arrangement with its ally the United States to fetch their freed captives, sparing them a ride home in shackles.