Obama Administration Ready To RELEASE Up To 10 More Gitmo Detainees
A 48-year-old Saudi prisoner and up to 10 others locked away in Guantanamo Bay are set to be released in June.
Shaker Aamer, the Saudi, is also a British resident, and the last Brit left at Gitmo. His wife and four kids live in London, AFP reports.
A recent visit between U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama in January prompted renewed lobbying from Britain. (RELATED: David Cameron Prepares To Ask Obama For The Last Brit Left In Guantanamo)
The U.K. has agitated unsuccessfully for Aamer’s release since at least 2010, but now it appears that Obama’s receptiveness is turning into concrete action. Cameron means for Aamer to return back to London when released.
However, citing an anonymous government official, AFP reported that the country of Aamer’s relocation is currently unclear. According to allegations, Aamer was a high-level recruiter for al-Qaida and confessed to working for Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Yunis Shokuri, a 46-year-old Moroccan, and Ahmed Abdel Aziz, a 45-year-old Mauritanian, will also be sent back to their respective home countries.
Congress will be provided with a 30-day notice of the transfer, after which point Department of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will sign off on the process.
But while Obama is rushing to shut the prison down, Congress is trying to throw up blockades in response. On Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida signed on as cosponsor of Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s bill from early this year to halt the transfer of high or medium-risk terror suspects out of Guantanamo.
Additionally, the president would be blocked from shipping detainees to any country where a previous detainee had reengaged in terrorism. The White House, unsurprisingly, has said that it will veto the bill if it ever makes its way through Congress.
Sen. Ted Cruz, also a GOP presidential contender, previously endorsed the bill.
The total population of Guantanamo is stuck at 122, but 57 have been cleared for transfer, and according to Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Myles Caggins, the objective is to move all 57 out.
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