GTMO Detainee Released After Being Held 20 Years to Morocco

The Biden administration announced earlier today, that Abdul Latif Nasir has been released to the Kingdom of Morocco after being held for nearly 20 years, without charges, Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.

Ned Price, state department spokesperson released the following statement:

“The United States commends the Kingdom of Morocco for its collaboration in repatriating Abdul Latif Nasir, a Moroccan citizen who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.  Abdul Nasir is the first detainee to be repatriated to his country of origin during the Biden-Harris Administration.  The Administration is dedicated to following a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population of the Guantanamo facility while also safeguarding the security of the United States and its allies.

Morocco’s leadership in facilitating Nasir’s repatriation, alongside its past willingness to return its foreign terrorist fighters from northeast Syria, should encourage other nations to repatriate their citizens who have traveled to fight for terrorist organizations abroad.

Under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, Morocco and the United States have enjoyed robust and long-standing counterterrorism cooperation and work closely to safeguard both countries’ national security interests.  We appreciate Morocco’s efforts as a stable security-exporting partner, including its ongoing leadership of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and its sustaining role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”

The Department of Defense released the following statement in regards to the prisoner release:

“In 2016, the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process determined that law of war detention of Abdul Latif Nasir no longer remained necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States. Therefore, the PRB recommended that Nasir be authorized for repatriation to his native country of Morocco, subject to security and humane treatment assurances. The steps necessary to effectuate the repatriation were unable to be completed prior to the end of the Obama administration. 

The PRB process was established by the president’s March 7, 2011 Executive Order 13567. It is consistent with section 1023 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012. The Trump administration affirmed the PRB process in Executive Order 13823 of January 30, 2018, but did not complete the repatriation.

The PRB panel consists of one senior career official from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State, along with the Joint Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.”

On June 17th of this year, the Department of Defense notified Congress of its intent to repatriate Mr. Nasir to Morocco, and, in consultation with our Moroccan partners, we have undertaken a responsible transfer.

The facility now holds 39 prisoners, according the state department. At its height of use by the Bush Administration, after the September 11 bombings, help upwards of 700 prisoners. According to the White House, the Biden administration remains dedicated to a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing of the Guantanamo facility facility located on the eastern tip of Cuba.

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