New York Times has reported that a national security board cleared on Friday a Libyan man, Ismail Ali Faraj Ali Bakush – 54 -, who has been held at Guantánamo Bay without charge for 20 years to be transferred to another country if one can be found to take him.
The newspaper indicated that this is a way of continuing the Biden administration’s effort to reduce the detainee population at the US Navy base in Cuba.
“The decision in the case of Ismail Ali Faraj Ali Bakush means that diplomats are now seeking to reach security agreements for the transfer of 22 of the 36 men currently held as law of war prisoners at Guantánamo,” the report added.
It said that Bakush is the last so-called low value prisoner being held as an indefinite detainee in the war on terror that began in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Bakush was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan, in May 2002 and sent to Guantánamo Bay three months later. A US intelligence report from January described him as an explosives expert who “probably provided operational support to key Al Qaeda figures.”
“At Guantánamo, he was held as a member of the Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which the State Department designated as a terrorist organization from 2004 to 2015.” The New York Times added.
“In an apparent nod to the instability of Libya, the Periodic Review Board — an interagency group with representatives from the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and various cabinet agencies — recommended that he be transferred to a third country “with strong rehabilitation capabilities,” integration support and a willingness to monitor his activities and restrict his travel.” The report explained.