The prisoner, Asadullah Haroon Gul, also called Haroon Al Afghani, was born in Afghanistan and has been detained within the Guantanamo jail since 2007.
“DOD, supported by different components of the US authorities, transferred him out of Guantanamo Bay, facilitating his repatriation to his native nation, Afghanistan,” the administration official stated. “He flew on a US plane to Doha after which we labored with the Taliban and the Qatar authorities to facilitate his switch to Kabul.”
Afterward Friday the Pentagon confirmed the switch had taken place.
“The Division of Protection introduced right now the switch of Asadullah Haroon al-Afghani also called ‘Gul’ from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to facilitate his repatriation to Afghanistan, his native nation,” the Pentagon stated in a press release.
“The Division of Protection, in coordination with different USG departments, transferred Mr. Gul in accordance with the U.S. District of Columbia’s order granting his Writ of Habeas Corpus, ruling america now not has a authorized foundation to justify the continued detention of Mr. Gul,” the assertion added.
The switch additionally comes because the Taliban management within the nation has prevented ladies above sixth grade type going to highschool, and because the nation faces an financial and meals disaster that’s anticipated to kill 1000’s.
US diplomats who work on the US workplace for Afghan affairs in Doha engaged with Taliban officers on this matter — which they thought of an space of mutual curiosity — to determine the logistics of how one can make this work, the official defined. There was not any increased degree engagement with the Taliban required, the official stated.
Gul, an Afghan nationwide who grew up largely in a refugee camp in Shamshato, Pakistan, was accused of being a member of an extremist group known as Hezb-e-Islami/Gulbuddin, which was generally known as HIG on the time. It has since change into generally known as Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA). HIA was deemed an “related drive” of al Qaeda by the US authorities.
Gul conceded that he had been a member of HIG, now generally known as HIA, on the time, however his protection attorneys argued that the group entered right into a peace treaty with the Afghanistan authorities in 2016.
Gul has been detained at Guantanamo since June 2007.
“A court docket made the choice that we would have liked to maneuver this particular person someplace and essentially the most possible possibility, essentially the most life like possibility is mostly going to be repatriation and right here looks like it could properly show to be repatriation,” stated a supply acquainted with the matter.
A number of elements performed into the administration’s efforts to repatriate Gul to Afghanistan, even whereas the Taliban is at the moment in charge of the nation. A kind of elements: there aren’t any US service member nonetheless in Afghanistan after the US withdrew from the nation final fall.
The Taliban additionally gave assurances to the US authorities that Gul wouldn’t emerge as a risk to the US homeland or to American allies, the US official stated.
“We had conversations about how necessary it’s that this particular person doesn’t pose risk to the US or to our allies. We acquired assurances again,” the official stated.
The switch of Gul to Afghanistan comes as tensions between the US and the Taliban stay excessive over Mark Frerichs, a veteran and contractor who was kidnapped in Kabul in late January 2020, is believed to be held by the Haqqani community, which is an in depth affiliate of the Taliban.
“We additionally need to discover a strategy to get Mark dwelling. We’re working diligently on that. We hope there’s excellent news within the weeks to return on getting him dwelling finally,” the official defined.
The Periodic Assessment Board, which first decided that Gul ought to be cleared to go away, is a authorities entity created throughout the Obama administration to find out whether or not detainees being held on the jail have been responsible or not. The Biden administration continues to depend on the board to dictate which prisoners ought to be despatched dwelling.
With Gul’s switch, 36 detainees stay on the jail, with greater than a dozen cleared for switch.
“They’re going to be continued efforts to do what comes after these suggestions, which is method international locations whether or not their international locations of origin or the place that is not possible or obtainable or advisable different international locations and search to work out repatriation or switch preparations which are mutually passable,” the supply acquainted with the matter defined.
CNN’s Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.