Page 3 of 3   <      

Yemen's handling of ex- Guantanamo detainees has U.S. officials concerned

Some of the Yemeni detainees will almost certainly be repatriated, the U.S. official said. But the majority will likely continue to be held by the United States.

This could have repercussions in Yemen's mostly tribal society, where Guantanamo is viewed as a tool of U.S. repression and seeking revenge is a customary rite.

Uthman Abdul Rahim has been imprisoned at Guantanamo for nearly eight years. The United States says he is an al-Qaeda fighter with ties to two of the USS Cole attackers. His family said he went to Afghanistan to teach the Koran and has no links to al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

His brother Arif said he was confident that Obama would close Guantanamo next year.

If he doesn't, or if Uthman and other detainees are sent to a prison in the United States, many families would consider it an even greater betrayal, he said.

"The families, their friends, their tribesmen will have more hatred for the United States," Arif said. "And perhaps they will consider taking the same path as the extremists."

Staff writer Peter Finn in Washington contributed to this report.

<          3

© 2009 The Washington Post Company