Wealthy Gitmo Detainee With Family Ties To Bin Laden RELEASED To Saudi Arabia
Abdul Shalabi, a Guantanamo detainee and former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, was just released to Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of detainees in the prison down to 114.
This is the second transfer in under a week. Last week, the Department of Defense announced the release of Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri to Morocco.
“The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures,” the Defense Department said in a statement.
A detainee assessment from 2008 found that 39-year-old Shalabi, who comes from a wealthy and educated family, not only served as bin Laden’s bodyguard, but also has familial ties to the bin Laden family. Shalabi belonged to al-Qaida and was part of an aborted component of the September 11 attacks. But Shalabi consistently denied involvement and claimed to be a religious teacher.