WASHINGTON, April 4, 2016 – Two more detainees currently housed at Guantanamo Bay are being transferred, the Pentagon has announced.
The Department of Defense announced the transfer of Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby and Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Bakr Mahjour Umar from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of Senegal on April 4.
With this transfer, there are 89 detainees left at Guantanamo Bay, according to figures provided by the Pentagon.
Ghereby, 55, is a citizen of Libya and a member of the terrorist group Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and is considered an explosives expert, according to the Pentagon’s dossier of him.
The Pentagon assessed the Ghereby “participated in hostilities against the U.S. and coalition forces in Osama Bin Laden’s forces in Tora Bora (Afghanistan).” The United States tracked bin Laden to the Tora Bora mountain region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan after first invading Afghanistan in October 2001 in response to the attacks on 9/11.
Bin Laden slipped out of the mountains and remained at large before a daring raid by special forces killed him in 2010.
Umar, 43 or 44, according to his Pentagon dossier, is also a citizen of Libya. He is also a member of LIFG, and the dossier cautioned, “If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successful reintegration into his society as a law abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities.”
The dossier also noted that Umar has been cooperative “but continues to withhold information of intelligence value.”
President Obama vowed, in an executive order signed in his second day in office, to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and this transfer is part of accomplishing that promise.
“As directed by the president’s Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Ghereby was unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.
“On Aug. 20, 2015, the Periodic Review Board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence determined continued law of war detention of Umar does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Umar was recommended for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the Periodic Review Board. The Periodic Review Board process was established by the president’s March 7, 2011, Executive Order 13567.”