November 27, 2022

The Protection Division introduced Monday that Mohammad Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani, who has been accused of being the “twentieth hijacker” within the 9-11, 2001 terrorism plot, has been despatched house to Saudi Arabia from the army jail at Guantanamo Bay.

A overview board made up our minds in June 2021 that al-Qahtani didn’t provide a present risk to nationwide safety, and advisable repatriation to Saudi Arabia. Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin notified Saudi Arabia in February of the verdict. 

“America appreciates the willingness of Saudi Arabia and different companions to enhance ongoing U.S. efforts towards a planned and thorough procedure desirous about responsibly lowering the detainee inhabitants and in the long run final of the Guantanamo Bay facility,” the Protection Division stated in a observation.

Shayana Kadidal, senior managing lawyer of the Guantanamo mission on the Middle for Constitutional Rights, stated al-Qahtani has suffered schizophrenia since a tender age, and that during 2002, an FBI reputable noticed al-Qahtani talking to non-existent other folks, listening to voices and crouching in a nook of his cellular whilst masking himself with a sheet for hours. Kadidal stated al-Qahtani has again and again attempted to kill himself. 

In a observation from February, the Middle for Constitutional Rights stated that an impartial psychiatric professional tested al-Qahtani at Guantanamo and showed the analysis of schizophrenia in 2016, and the army’s personal docs unanimously agreed with that conclusion. 

US prison camp Guantánamo
16 October 2018, Cuba, Guantanamo Bay: A watchtower stands in the back of a barbed cord fence. The notorious camp has now existed for nearly 17 years. 40 inmates are nonetheless being held there. 

image alliance


In 2009, Susan Crawford, the senior Bush management reputable answerable for deciding whether or not to convey Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial, declined to suggest al-Qahtani’s case for prosecution as a result of he were tortured on the jail.

“His remedy met the prison definition of torture,” Crawford stated on the time, in step with The Washington Put up. “And that is the reason why I didn’t refer the case”  

In in the past declassified courtroom paperwork from 2016, the federal government accused of al-Qahtani of being “nearly indisputably decided on by way of senior al Qaeda contributors to be the 20 th hijacker of the 9/11 assaults.” The paperwork alleged al-Qahtani most probably understood he was once a part of a suicide venture, however “he was once most probably ignorant of the specifics of the assault.” He was once denied access into the U.S. by way of immigration officials, who “discovered the instances of his trip and his habits to be suspicious,” the paperwork stated. 

The declassified paperwork stated the lead hijacker, Mohammed Atta, was once “nearly indisputably” ready to select up al-Qahtani on the Orlando airport in 2001 when he was once denied access and deported to the United Arab Emirates.

The federal government stated al-Qahtani returned to Pakistan and Afghanistan in August 2001 to inform Atta and Osama bin Encumbered one by one that he was once denied access to the U.S. He then traveled to Kabul to combat in opposition to the U.S. and its allies, the paperwork stated. The federal government stated al-Qahtani was once in short in Tora Bora and rejoined bin Encumbered and his bodyguards prior to being captured. 

The paperwork alleged he “again and again” attempted to “disassociate himself” from al Qaeda, despite the fact that the federal government stated that they believed his “repeated denials of terrorism involvement” restricted their “perception into his motivation.” His circle of relatives has no recognized hyperlinks to terrorism, the federal government stated. 

The Middle for Constitutional Rights stated al-Qahtani “was once brutally tortured, on the course of officers in Washington who sought to ‘damage’ a person whose connection to truth had already been threadbare for years.”

With al-Qahtani’s liberate, 38 detainees stay at Guantanamo Bay, the Protection Division stated Monday. Of the ones 38, the Protection Division stated 19 are eligible for switch; 7 are eligible for a overview; 10 are concerned within the army commissions procedure; and two detainees had been convicted in army commissions.

President Joe Biden has vowed to near the jail at Guantanamo prior to he leaves administrative center, and in February 2021, the management introduced it might be launching an interagency overview of the jail. 

David Martin and Margaret Brennan contributed to this record. 

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