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  • Obama Releases Bin Laden Bodyguard From Gitmo

    Abdul Shalabi, a Guantanamo detainee and former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, was just released to Saudi Arabia, the Defense Department said Tuesday.

    This is the second transfer in under a week, bringing the total number of detainees in the prison down to 114.

    The Department of Defense announced the release of Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri to Morocco last week.

    There are 52 detainees left who have been cleared for release. The rest require further detention. President Barack Obama still wants to close the prison before his term is up, and so the Pentagon has investigated domestic facilities to hold detainees in the long-term if the administration manages to shutter Gitmo.

    Pakistani authorities captured Shalabi along with 31 other al-Qaida fighters, who were fleeing from Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden’s mountain complex on December 15, 2001.

    Authorities transferred Shalabi over to U.S. custody near the end of December and he was then sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he stayed for 13 years.

    At the time, the assessment determined Shalabi was too dangerous to release, but the board changed its mind in June, clearing him for release.


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