The United States of America welcomed, this Monday, July 19, Morocco’s anti-terrorism cooperation in the repatriation operation of Abdellatif Nasser, a Moroccan citizen and ” al-Qaeda ex-combatant »Detained in the American base of Guantanamo for 19 years.
“Lhe United States of America congratulates the Kingdom of Morocco for its collaboration in the repatriation of Abdellatif Nasser, a Moroccan citizen who had been detained at the Guantanamo detention center. Abdellatif Nacer is the first detainee to be repatriated to his country of origin during the Biden-Harris administration ” has indicated Ned Price, government spokesman Joe Biden, in a US State Department statement.
The US successfully transferred former GTMO detainee Abdul Latif Nasir to his native country of Morocco. We are grateful to the Kingdom of Morocco for its willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. https://t.co/ODHfhbxYMT
– Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) July 19, 2021
Indeed, since his arrival at the White House, President Joe Biden has engaged in the closure of the American base located in the Gulf of Cuba. The American president had even promised to permanently close the Guantanamo base by the end of the first year of his mandate. It seems that this extradition is only the first on a long list given that 39 people are still imprisoned at Guantanamo and that it is the first transfer of this kind since Biden came to power in January 2021. .
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price: 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. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/goGl87hE6g
– US Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) July 19, 2021
White House welcomes Morocco-US counterterrorism cooperation
Thus, the State Department pointed out that “Under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Morocco and the United States maintain strong counterterrorism cooperation and work closely together to protect the national security interests of both countries“.
Expressing satisfaction with Moroccan cooperation, US State Department welcomes “Morocco’s efforts as a stable partner in the field of security, including its continued leadership in the Global Counterterrorism Forum and its enduring role in the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) “.
In a statement announcing the transfer of Abdellatif Nasser on Monday from the Guantanamo detention center in the Kingdom of Morocco, the Pentagon said that as of today, another 39 people were imprisoned at Guantanamo.
When Obama wanted to close Guantanamo
Never charged, the release of Abdellatif Nasser, 56 years old and detained at Guantanamo since May 2002, had been recommended by the Obama administration in 2016. Moreover, the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process had determined the same year that Nasser’s detention under the law of war was no longer necessary to preserve the national security of the United States, thus recommending that he be allowed to be repatriated to his homeland ” subject to guarantees of safety and humane treatment »Recalls the Pentagon. But this request had been put aside during Donald Trump’s tenure.
Already in 2009, former US President Barack Obama had the same vision as his Vice President Joe Biden at the time. As soon as he came to power, he ordered the closure of the Guantanamo detention center with the idea of having the prisoners tried by civilian courts. But the decision was blocked in Congress. Obama then preferred to discreetly release the few detainees whose release had been approved by the Presidency’s Review Board (PRB). These releases were interrupted under Donald Trump.
The BNPJ opens an investigation
For its part, Morocco is also organized for this extradition operation. The King’s Attorney General at the Rabat Court of Appeal announced on Monday that, following a notice sent on July 19 by the judicial police services to the prosecution on the extradition of prisoner Abdellatif Nasser from Guantanamo to Morocco, that he issued his orders to the National Judicial Police Brigade (BNPJ) for the opening of an investigation into his alleged terrorist acts.
The prosecution emphasizes that legal proceedings could take place depending on the results of the ongoing investigation with the former Guantanamo detainee. And this, in full compliance with the legal provisions in force.
It should be remembered that the Guantanamo base was opened in 2002, on American territory in Cuba, to detain members of Al-Qaeda and suspected accomplices of the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The desire of President Joe Biden or even Barack Obama to want to close it comes down to the fact that the prison has become a thorn in the side of Washington, accused of illegal detention, human rights violations and torture. She counted to 780 ” prisoners of war“.