Biden Admin Releases Yet Another Suspected Islamist Militant From Guantanamo Bay Prison

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he U.S. returned Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush, a suspected Al Qaeda instructor, to Algeria on Thursday after holding him at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay detention facility for two decades, according to a statement.

Bakush is one of the last detainees to be released among a group of 20 suspected low-level Islamist fighters captured in a 2002 raid on facilities U.S. and Pakistani authorities believed Al Qaeda was using as safe houses, according to The New York Times. The Department of Defense (DOD) reached an agreement with Algeria to transfer Bakush, originally thought to hail from Libya, subject to continued monitoring, travel restrictions and security conditions, the statement said.

“The United States appreciates the willingness of the Government of Algeria, and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts toward a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing the Guantanamo Bay facility,” the Pentagon said.

Bakush is the sixth Guantanamo prisoner released in the past six months, according to the NYT, as the Biden administration seeks to reduce the population and eventually shut down the facility.

A DOD review board determined Bakush was eligible for transfer on April 13, after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin notified Congress of his intent to repatriate the detainee in February, according to the statement.


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