A Saudi inmate who spent 12 years at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of fighting alongside al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for been released, the U.S. Defense Department said in a statement on Saturday.
The man, Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani, was cleared for transfer to Saudi Arabia in early October, after his case was reviewed by a board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The board ruled that holding al-Zahrani "does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States," citing the "uncorroborated nature of the information about his links to al-Qaeda as well as his expressions of regret."
Zahrani will now begin a rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia.
He was first imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay in August 2002.
A Defense Department profile estimated that Zahrani was 44 or 45 years old.