Obama’s Guantánamo Board Clears ‘Forever Prisoner’ for Release


Abdul Latif Nasir, a Moroccan detainee who had been deemed a “forever prisoner,” became the latest accused jihadist held at the U.S. military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to be cleared for release by President Barack Obama’s parole board.

The latest decision by Obama’s multi-agency Periodic Review Board, announced Tuesday, means 29 of the 76 detainees currently imprisoned at the facility have been cleared for release.

“Forever prisoner” refers to “an indefinite detainee considered too dangerous to release but never charged with a crime,” explains the Miami Herald.

Citing a profile by U.S. intelligence officials conducted in March, the newspaper notes that the Moroccan prisoner has “defended fighting jihad in certain circumstances and supports Sharia law.”

He also resents the United States over his prolonged detention at the Guantánamo facility, according to the profile.

In its decision, the parole board conceded that the detainee “presents some level of threat in light of his past activities, skills, and associations,” but added that can be mitigated in his circumstances of release.

The board reportedly noted that in the case of the Moroccan detainee, it considered his “renunciation of violence,” lack of contacts with “individuals involved in terrorism-related activities outside of Guantánamo,” as well as “low number of disciplinary infractions while in detention.”

According to the Miami Herald:

[Moroccan] Abdul Latif Nasir, 51, got to Guantánamo May 3, 2002 and was profiled by U.S. intelligence in March as a Taliban aligned commander and weapons trainer who “led a retreat from Jalalabad, Afghanistan … in late 2001 and acted in a leadership role at Tora Bora during fighting against U.S. forces.”

The multi agency Periodic Review Board recommended Nasir be repatriated to his native Morocco, no where else, because he had family there and prospects for support and employment. That appeared to be just fine with the man who from 2010 until this week was held as a “forever prisoner,” an indefinite detainee considered too dangerous to release but never charged with a crime.

The Obama administration is expected to release up to 20 more prisoners this summer, bringing down the total population at the Guantánamo detention center, also known as Gitmo, to 56.

Nasir wants to return to his home in Casablanca, Morocco, according to his attorney, Shelby Sullivan-Bennis.

There, the alleged jihadist is expected to work full time at his brother’s “very successful water treatment company … surrounded by a supportive and stable family,” claimed the attorney, who referred to Nasir as an “introspective, intelligent, and kindhearted man.”

The U.S. intelligence profile conducted in March revealed that Nasir “has not expressed extremist views against U.S. citizens, but almost certainly resents the United States government and those he sees as responsible for his prolonged detainment,” reports the Miami Herald.

The newspaper adds:

Now it will be up to diplomats at the State Department to negotiate a repatriation deal with Morocco to include security arrangements that satisfy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. The board decision to clear Nasir for transfer was the second release decision issued by the Pentagon this week, and raised to 29 the number of cleared captives at the 76-detainee prison.

The Obama administration, which has vowed to shut down Gitmo, released three detainees less than a week ago.

It has rolled out its plan to close down the facility, which involves bringing dangerous prisoners onto U.S. soil, a move that is prohibited by law.


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