[JURIST] A Qatari man arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks and labeled an “enemy combatant” was released and returned to his home nation on Saturday. Ali bin Kahlah al-Marri was held by US authorities for six years and later pleaded guilty [Al Jazeera report] to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization in 2009, for which he was sentenced to eight years in prison. He admitted to having associations with al Qaeda members believed to be masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks, and training at al Qaeda camps from 1998 to 2001. For the conspiracy count al-Marri faced up to 15 years, but the judge sentenced him to eight years because of what the judge deemed to be “unacceptable” treatment while he held in Navy custody, including sensory deprivation, periods of isolation and threats of harm to his family.
The US has also recently released several detainees from the facilities at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder]. The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] on Wednesday announced [JURIST report] the transfer of five Guantanamo detainees; four were released to Oman, while one went to Estonia. In December the DOD announced the transfer [JURIST report] of six detainees from Guantanamo to Uruguay. DOD officials also announced that five prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were be released to the Kazakhstan government, and four more [JURIST reports] to Afghanistan.