Created after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Guantanamo detention center has become a symbol of human rights violations. Wanting to close this infamous place before the end of his term, Joe Biden has since his election started a process of releasing the detainees. On Wednesday March 8, the United States announced the release of an engineer captured after the 2001 attacks.
Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, 48, was arrested in Faisalabad, Pakistan, along with another al-Qaeda member, in March 2002. He studied aeronautics at a university in Arizona, west of the United States. United States, and piloting alongside two of the Al-Qaeda hijackers in the 9/11 attacks.
The Pentagon had considered certain charges against Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi, but abandoned the idea in 2008, while continuing to hold him as an enemy combatant in the prison of the Guantanamo military base on the island of Cuba. His status remained uncertain until last year: never charged, but also never before considered free.
In February 2022, a Pentagon commission that handles release requests ruled that the native of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, could be freed, since he did not hold a leadership position within Al-Qaeda and respected detention rules. Years before, however, he had been labeled as a hostile prisoner. The commission further stated that he suffered from "physical and mental problems", without specifying their nature.
His decision indicated he was fit to enter Saudi Arabia's rehabilitation program for radical jihadists, the aim of which is to slowly change their views while ensuring they remain monitored. in their return to civilian life.
The release of Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi means there are 31 remaining detainees at Guantanamo. At its peak, the prison had nearly 800. Of those 31, 17 are eligible for transfer, while the Pentagon and the US State Department are looking for countries willing to accept them. Three others are eligible for a review of their situation before the Pentagon commission.
There are also five men charged in the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington.
A total of nine men still detained at Guantanamo are facing charges, and two have been convicted in a military court.