The Pentagon announced [press release] Friday that the Periodic Review Board (PRB) [official website] has cleared Afghani Guantanamo detainee Obaidullah [NYT materials] for release after almost 15 years of detainment. Obaidullah was captured [Daily Mail report] in November 2002 when forces determined he had landmines in his possession and that he had received orders to detonate them. He was later charged [JURIST report] with conspiracy and providing material support to terrorist in 2008, but those charges were dismissed by a military tribunal in 2011. The PRB determined that Obaidullah no longer poses a threat to the security of the nation despite his past as a known bomb maker:
The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. The Board has some concern with the detainee’s failure to demonstrate sufficient candor related to events prior to detention but, in light of the factors and conditions of transfer identified below, the Board found that the risk the detainee presents can be adequately mitigated.In making this determination, the Board noted that the detainee has not expressed any intent to re-engage in terrorist activities, has not espoused any anti-US sentiment that would indicate he views the US as his enemy, that neither the detainee nor his family have any ties to extremists outside of Guantanamo, and that the detainee has been mostly compliant while at Guantanamo.
It is not when known when Obaidullah will be transferred or to where.
There are currently 80 detainees remaining at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In February US President Obama delivered a plan to Congress to close Guantanamo [JURIST report]. Last month the Department of Defense (DOD) announced the transfer [JURIST report] of nine Yemeni Guantanamo detainees to Saudi Arabia. Earlier in April the DOD announced the transfer [JURIST report] of two Guantanamo detainees to Senegal.