RABAT, Morocco (AP) – A Moroccan detained for 19 years without charge at the US detention center for suspected terrorists in Guantánamo Bay has rejoined his family after being questioned by police in the North African kingdom, said Tuesday his lawyer.
Abdullatif Nasser, now 56, is the first inmate from the Guantánamo Bay center to be transferred to the custody of his home country under the administration of President Joe Biden.
On his arrival Monday, he was arrested by the national division of the judicial police in Casablanca “on suspicion of terrorist acts” before being released.
“He is now with his family whom he had not seen for almost two decades,” said Nasser’s Moroccan lawyer, Khalil Idrissi. Nasser, who was not available for comment, only wants to catch up with his old life, his lawyer said by phone.
No further action against his client is expected, he added.
Nasser had been a member of a non-violent but illegal Moroccan Sufi Islam group in the 1980s, according to his Pentagon file. He had been recruited to fight in Chechnya but ended up in Afghanistan, training in an al-Qaida camp. He was captured after fighting US forces and sent to Guantanamo in May 2002.
A review board recommended Nasser’s repatriation in July 2016, but he remained in the detention center of a US naval base in Cuba throughout the presidency of Donald Trump, who opposed the closure of the site. . In announcing Nasser’s transfer to his home, the Pentagon cited the board’s decision that his detention was no longer necessary to protect US national security.
Nearly 800 detainees passed through Guantanamo. Of the remaining 39, 10 are eligible for transfers. They are from Yemen, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates.