(FiveNation.com)- The Biden administration finally repatriated a Gitmo prisoner back to his home country of Afghanistan on Friday after a federal court ruled last year that he was unlawfully detained.
The prisoner, Asadullah Haroon Gul, or Haroon al-Afghani, had been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2007.
An administration official said on Friday that Gul was transferred from Gitmo by the Pentagon aboard a US aircraft bound for Doha in Qatar. Taliban representatives in Qatar then facilitated with the Qatari government to transfer Gul to Kabul.
Late last year, the US District Court in DC granted Gul a Writ of Habeas Corpus ruling that the US no longer has a legal justification to continue detaining him at Gitmo. The Periodic Review Board made up of officials from US national security agencies, also cleared Gul for transfer. The Biden administration then began to work on repatriating Gul.
Gul had been accused of being a member of Hezb-e-Islami an extremist group in Afghanistan that was deemed an “associated force” of al Qaeda. Gul conceded that he was a member of the group at the time, but his lawyers argued that the group had subsequently entered into a peace treaty with the Afghan government in 2016.
The Taliban government assured the US that Gul would not be a threat to the US homeland or American allies once he is repatriated to Afghanistan.
And if you can’t trust the Taliban, who can you trust?
Meanwhile, the American veteran and contractor Mark Frerichs remains captive in Afghanistan after being kidnapped in Kabul in late January 2020. Frerichs is believed to be held by the Haqqani network, a close affiliate of the Taliban.
According to an administration official, the US is “working diligently” on getting Frerichs back.
With Gul transferred out, only 36 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay, and over a dozen of those have been cleared for transfer.