3 Saudi Detainees Transferred Home From Guantanamo

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Justice Department announced yesterday that three Saudis were returned to their home country from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The transfer brings to nine the number of detainees sent home or resettled in third countries this week as the Obama administration accelerates efforts to close the detention facility in Cuba. Another man, a Tanzanian accused of planning the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings, was sent to New York to stand trial on federal charges. The outflow is the largest exodus from the prison in more than a year, officials said.

The departure of the three Saudis -- Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair -- lowers to 229 the number of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. All three had been cleared for release by the Bush administration, a finding that was endorsed by an interagency review after President Obama took office.

The Justice Department said in a statement that the three men will be subject to judicial review in Saudi Arabia before undergoing a rehabilitation program.

-- Peter Finn

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