U.S. transfers two Guantanamo detainees to Algeria

The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Bob Strong
The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 6, 2013. Credit: Reuters

The United States on Thursday said it had transferred two men from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the government of Algeria as part of its ongoing effort to close the controversial prison.

The Pentagon announced the transfer of Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab, leaving 164 detainees still at the prison, including 84 others cleared for release years ago.

The Obama administration first announced plans to repatriate the two inmates to Algeria last month, resuming the transfer of detainees for the first time in nearly a year.

It was not immediately clear how long the two men had been held by the U.S. government. No personal details were immediately available from the Pentagon or the White House.

The Pentagon said the decision to release the two men came after a comprehensive review by an interagency task force.

“As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were approved for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

President Barack Obama has vowed to close the prison, which has held dozens of prisoners – most without charge – for more than a decade. But the process has dragged on for years.

Obama promised to close the facility during his 2008 presidential campaign, citing its damage to the U.S. reputation around the world, but he has been unable to do so in 4 1/2 years in office, in part because of resistance by Congress.

The prison camp was established during the presidency of George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States to house foreign terrorism suspects.

A hunger strike involving a majority of the inmates – and daily force-feeding of dozens – has fueled the calls to shut the detention center. Last month lawmakers blasted its cost, about $2.7 million per prisoner per year, compared with $70,000 per inmate at maximum-security federal prisons.

The last prisoner transferred out of Guantanamo was Omar Khadr, the youngest inmate and last Westerner held at the base. He was sent last September to finish his sentence in his native Canada.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.