Three Guantanamo Bay inmates including elderly ‘9/11 conspirator’ to be released

Guantanamo Bay's oldest inmate and two others have been cleared for release, according to reports.

Saifullah Paracha, 73, of Pakistan, has been held without charge for more than 16 years accused of being involved in the 9/11 attacks.

The ex-businessman and New York legal resident was captured by the FBI in July 2003 in Thailand.

US intelligence officials believe he was a facilitator who helped two men accused of conspiring the September 11 terror atrocity, according to The New York Times.

President Joe Biden's administration has now agreed to release him, along with a man suspected of being Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and another man detained in 2002.

Paracha admitted he safeguarded $500,000 for the conspirators but claimed he did not know their identities or links to the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

He is the oldest detainee at Guantanamo Bay detention camp and reportedly the most ill, with heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

None of the three detainees have been charged with crimes in the US in the two decades they have been imprisoned.

They will be released to countries that agree to hold them in secure arrangements, American officials and lawyers said on Monday.

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A second detainee to be granted release is Uthman Abdul al-Rahim Uthman, 40, of Yemen.

Uthman was taken to Guantanamo Bay in January 2002 on suspicion of being a member of bin Laden’s bodyguard corps.

He was denied release in 2018 partly due to a lack of ‘credible plans to support himself upon transfer’, The Times reported.

Of the three, Uthman has been in custody the longest.

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The third detainee cleared is Abdul Rabbani, 54, of Pakistan. He was captured in 2002 during a security services raid in Karachi along with his brother who is also being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Approvals for the three prisoners’ release bring the number of detainees cleared to be transferred to other countries up to nine.

Guantanamo Bay still holds 40 detainees.

The Biden administration’s approvals represent a resumption of efforts to shutter the wartime prison, which had been halted by former President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration transferred only one detainee and shut the office of the special envoy for closing Guantanamo Bay.

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