Oldest Guantanamo Bay prisoner, 75, is freed and flown home to Pakistan after 18 years imprisoned


Oldest Guantanamo Bay prisoner, 75, is freed and flown home to Pakistan after being held there for 18 years without charge on suspicion of ‘facilitating’ 9/11 plotters

  • Saifullah Paracha, 75, was the oldest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay detention facility after being held there on suspicion of helping al-Qaeda
  • He allegedly helped Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is accused of planning the 9/11 attacks, and Mohammed’s nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi 
  • The US has held him at Guantanamo since September 2004 and has long asserted it can hold detainees indefinitely
  • The camp drew worldwide condemnation for holding large numbers of prisoners without charging them or holding trials

A Pakistani national held by the United States for 18 years in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp without trial on suspicion of links to al Qaeda returned home to Pakistan on Saturday after being the oldest prisoner at the detention facility. 

Saifullah Paracha, 75, was first captured in Thailand in July 2003 and taken to the US military base at Bagram, Afghanistan, before being transferred in 2004 to the camp in the US naval station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Authorities alleged he was an al-Qaeda ‘facilitator’ who helped two of the conspirators in the Sept. 11 plot with a financial transaction after the attacks.

Those conspirators were allegedly Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is accused of planning the 9/11 attacks, and Mohammed’s nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi.

Saifullah Paracha was the oldest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay prison before being released to his native Pakistan

Saifullah Paracha was the oldest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay prison before being released to his native Pakistan

The US captured Paracha in Thailand in 2003 during an FBI sting - he has admitted to safeguarding $500,000, but says he didn't know the conspirators were al-Qaeda

The US captured Paracha in Thailand in 2003 during an FBI sting – he has admitted to safeguarding $500,000, but says he didn’t know the conspirators were al-Qaeda

The US Department of Defense confirmed the repatriation and said Paracha's continued detention was no longer necessary to protect against a 'significant threat' to the US

The US Department of Defense confirmed the repatriation and said Paracha’s continued detention was no longer necessary to protect against a ‘significant threat’ to the US

Khalid Mohammed remains at Guantanamo Bay, with no trial death penalty trial date set after the January 2021 trial was delayed due to COVID-19. Ammar al-Baluchi is also being held at Guantanamo Bay. 

‘We are glad that a Pakistani citizen detained abroad is finally reunited with his family,’ the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

At 75, Paracha was the oldest inmate at the camp, according to Reprieve, a London-based human rights group that worked on his case. He was never charged.

Paracha admits to safeguarding $500,000, but says he didn’t know the conspirators were Al Qaeda and denies any involvement in terrorism.

The U.S. captured Paracha in Thailand in 2003 during an FBI sting. Paracha believed he was going to discuss a merchandising deal with Kmart, only to be seized by intelligence agents and flown to Afghanistan.

The U.S. has held him at Guantanamo since September 2004 and has long asserted that it can hold detainees indefinitely without charge under the international laws of war.

The U.S Department of Defense confirmed the repatriation and said Paracha’s continued detention was no longer necessary to protect against a ‘significant threat’ to the security of the United States.

The U.S. has held Paracha at Guantanamo since September 2004 and has long asserted that it can hold detainees indefinitely without charge under the international laws

The U.S. has held Paracha at Guantanamo since September 2004 and has long asserted that it can hold detainees indefinitely without charge under the international laws

Paracha has been held at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, pictured in January 2017, for more than 18 years

Paracha has been held at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, pictured in January 2017, for more than 18 years

The United States has not transferred a detainee from Guantanamo Bay to Pakistan since 2008. 

Paracha is the latest release from the prison camp set up following a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of the al Qaeda network behind the 9/11 attacks.

The camp drew worldwide condemnation for holding large numbers of prisoners without charging them or holding trials.

Its population peaked at about 800 inmates, then declined during the 2009-2017 Obama administration.

The Defense Department said 35 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay, of whom 20 are eligible for transfer and three for a Periodic Review Board.

Nine are involved in the military commissions process and three convicted in military commissions.

Advertisement



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

How Miles Teller Totally Broke Royal Protocol Meeting Prince William and Kate Middleton Mila Kunis Reveals Why She and Ashton Kutcher Don’t Close Bathroom Doors at Home With Kids Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson Were Engaged for 9 Months Before Paternity Lawsuit Selena Gomez Speaks Out About Kindness After Hailey Bieber’s Tell All Interview Shane Warne’s child, Jackson, shares recordings of ‘harmful ladies despising’ powerhouse Andrew Tate: ‘I really do concur with a couple of the things he says’ Kate and William to greet Americans ‘sleeping on the streets’ amid US visit ‘He said “take your bra off”… I was 15’: Supermodel Kate Moss reveals in unflinching detail how she fled a photoshoot in tears after being targeted by fashion industry predator as a teenager How to get early access to the MultiVersus open beta – usnewspress Gunman kills 3 people in Indiana mall shooting, police say Top 10 sizzling sex secrets to Spice Up Your Sex Life Stellantis Announces Termination of Jeep Venture With China’s GAC Memphis police thwart potential mass shooting at arena: Officials 4 dead after argument between 2 groups leads to shooting at north Harris County apartment complex, sheriff says US soprano, offended by blackface, pulls out of Italy opera 10 Top Romantic Getaways in New Jersey Ricky Martin’s Attorney Says Allegations of a Sexual Relationship with His Nephew Are ‘Untrue’ 8 Best Semiconductor Stocks To Buy Amid a Global Chip Shortage : USA Le’Veon Bell Reflects on Lost Season With Steelers in Retirement Post Updates on Tiger Woods from Round 1 of The Open PETE ALONSOI’M DEALING W/ ‘PRETTY BAD PTSD’… Over March Car Crash