The Biden administration transferred Guantanamo detainee Majeed Khan to Belize
The Biden administration transferred Guantanamo detainee Majeed Khan to Belize
The Biden administration has transferred one detainee from the detention facility Guantanamo BayCuba is making ready to make no less than two extra transfers on Thursday and subsequent week, based on two senior U.S. officers and a former administration official.
Majid Khan left Guantanamo early Thursday and arrived in Belize just a few hours later, officers mentioned. He’s the primary prisoner the Biden administration has resettled and one of many few despatched to a location within the Western Hemisphere.
“I’ve been given a second probability in life and I wish to benefit from it,” Khan mentioned in an announcement issued via his authorized crew. “I deeply remorse the issues I did a few years in the past, and I’ve taken accountability and tried to make up for them. I proceed to ask forgiveness from God and from these I’ve damage. I am actually sorry. The world has modified rather a lot in 20 years, and so have I. I promise to all of you, particularly the folks of Belize, that I shall be a productive, legislation abiding member of society. Thanks for trusting me, and I cannot allow you to down. My actions will converse louder than my phrases.
A Pakistani nationwide and Guantanamo’s solely identified authorized US resident, Khan was granted asylum in 1998 whereas in highschool close to Baltimore. He returned to Pakistan in 2002 and, based on a Division of Protection detainee evaluation, joined al Qaeda and have become Khalid’s direct subordinate. Sheikh Mohammed, usually often called KSM, is Al Qaeda’s senior operational planner and the chief architect of the September 11, 2001, terrorist assaults.
KSM, based on US paperwork, tasked Khan with offering cash and transporting one other senior al Qaeda determine to hold out a lethal assault on a Marriott resort in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August 2003. Reservoir, US expenses.
Khan was arrested in Karachi in March 2003 and brought to a CIA black website the place, based on a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, he was subjected to sleep deprivation, ice water baths, and force-feeding and rehydration. . Within the report, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., known as the therapy torture.
In September 2006, then-President George W. Bush introduced that Khan was one in every of 14 “high-value detainees” transferred from a CIA detention facility. Guantanamo Bay to face the navy tribunal system. One of many different high-value prisoners is KSM, who was additionally captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and saved on the black website.
In 2012, Khan was convicted of terrorism-related expenses and sentenced to 10 years in jail. That sentence ended on March 1, 2022 Khan nonetheless has household in the US, however federal legislation doesn’t permit Guantanamo detainees to be resettled in the US.
The Biden administration has reached out to almost a dozen nations to discover a place to resettle Khan, now 42. In the end, based on two U.S. officers, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was personally concerned in treaty negotiations with Belize. A senior State Division official mentioned the difficulty was an merchandise on the agenda throughout a gathering with the Belizean prime minister in September, however mentioned the U.S. and Belize had been discussing the matter for months earlier than that.
A senior State Division official mentioned the U.S. has checked out a variety of nations the place Khan might be transferred, contemplating areas which have good relations with the U.S., have the capability to help people with any medical or safety wants, and have political will.
“This can be a political query,” the official mentioned. “Belize was an ideal selection as a result of, in the end, we have now rather a lot to do with them.” The official mentioned Belize is keen to take Khan as a humanitarian gesture.
The official praised Belizean officers, saying they “requested all the best questions when this course of began” and did “an ideal job of attempting to evaluate” if it was the best resolution to make in Khan.
“We’re very glad that they will and can do what we have now requested them to do,” the official mentioned.
Two senior U.S. officers and a senior State Division official declined to supply specifics on any facet of the safety or humanitarian assurances or resettlement settlement supplied by Belize.
Khan’s legal professional, J. of the Middle for Constitutional Rights. Wells Dixon, declined to touch upon the specifics of the case and referred to public data in his navy fee case and his habeas corpus case.
Requested in regards to the doable motion, Protection Division spokesman Lt. Col. Cesar Santiago mentioned, “We’re conscious of those stories and don’t have anything to announce right now.”
Two Pakistani brothers, Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani and Mohammad Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani, are additionally near being transferred, based on two U.S. officers. Each Rabbani brothers have been allowed to depart the detention facility and might be transferred within the coming weeks, however particulars are nonetheless being labored out.
Abdul, believed to be the older brother and among the many oldest detainees presently at Guantanamo, was born in 1967 and allegedly labored instantly for KSM from 1999 till his arrest in September 2002. In 1998, Abdul’s youthful brother Ahmed recruited him to journey. In response to a US authorities detainee profile, went to Afghanistan to attend Camp Khaldan close to Khwaest for fundamental weapons coaching.
Abdul was thrown out of the camp for smoking. He returned to Karachi and, based on a US authorities detainee evaluation, started operating al Qaeda’s protected home there, shifting its fighters from Afghanistan to Pakistan in addition to enjoying a key position in transporting cash, paperwork and gear. Regardless of his shut relationship with KSM, the US believes he didn’t have particular insights into al Qaeda’s operational plans, based on his prisoner evaluation.
On Could 13, 2021, a Guantanamo Bay Periodic Evaluation Board decided that “continued acts of warfare detention are not crucial to guard in opposition to a seamless vital menace to the safety of the US” and Abdul was cleared for launch.
Abdul and Ahmed have been each arrested in Karachi in September 2002 and held at a CIA black website for a number of months, and based on the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Ahmed was one in every of 17 detainees tortured at CIA black websites with out approval from CIA headquarters. The brothers have been transferred to Guantanamo in September 2004.
The US authorities mentioned Ahmed, often known as Abu Badr, additionally ran a protected home in Karachi. He claimed he was only a taxi driver and a sufferer of mistaken id. He was granted a waiver to be launched from Guantanamo in October 2021.
U.S. officers mentioned one brother could be very sick and they’re working to switch him in hopes of bettering his well being. Each the brothers went on prolonged starvation strike.
In 2018, Ahmed wrote within the Los Angeles Instances in regards to the torture he endured on the CIA website. He mentioned the ache he skilled whereas hanging together with his palms tied above his head was so intense that he tried to chop off his palms.
“Torture makes you crazy. Typically I am going loopy once more now. Each time I am force-fed, each time I see my lawyer, each time I see a physician, they use some sort of steel detector to seek for cavities. In all these years they haven’t acquired something. I do not know what I am attempting to cover. It is pointless. However I’ve to surprise if the radiation it emits shouldn’t be my very own private Hiroshima or Nagasaki – 4, six, eight instances a day. Perhaps I am paranoid, however I really feel like one thing unhealthy is going on inside me,” she wrote.
“There is no such thing as a morning and no night. There may be solely despair.”
Now 34 prisoners remain On the Guantanamo Bay detention middle, which housed roughly 660 detainees.
This text was initially printed NBCNews.com
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