U.S. Repatriates Two-Decade Guantánamo Detainee

The Military said on Wednesday that it had repatriated a Saudi man held without trial at Guantánamo Bay for more than two decades.

The news of Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi’s transfer to U.S. custody was originally reported by the New York Times. It brings the number of detainees at Guantánamo Bay down to 31, and it follows three additional releases in February. Al-Sharbi, 48, was arrested in Pakistan on accusations of manufacturing explosives for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to the Times, he was temporarily prosecuted for “giving material support for terrorism,” but the case was withdrawn after it was decided that the accusation could not be applied retroactively as an international war crime.

The Pentagon issued a statement expressing appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s “willingness” to help U.S. efforts to “responsibly reduce the inmate population and ultimately close the Guantánamo Bay facility.”