US transfers two Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia

The US Department of Defense announced Dec. 16 that two Guantánamo Bay detainees have been transferred to Saudi Arabia. Saad Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood had been held since 2002, but neither had been charged with a crime. The two men were recommended for transfer in 2009 after a review by the the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force. According to a statement:

The United States is grateful to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure these transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment assurances.

The transfer brings the total number of Guantanamo detainees down to 160, and more transfers are anticipated.

From Jurist, Dec. 16. Used with permission.

"Saudi 9-11 coverup"?

The gung-ho Long War Journal is of course unhappy that Saad Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood have been turned over to Saudi Arabia (even though accounts do not make clear if they will be free or detained there). It is noted that Joint Task Force-Guantanamo had opposed the Bush administration decision to clear them for release, alleging that Qahtani is an "al-Qaeda member who swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden" and "participated in hostilities against US and Coalition forces on the front lines and in [bin Laden's] Tora Bora Mountain complex in Afghanistan." Qahtani also allegedly "acknowledged his associations with numerous al Qaeda members, leaders, and other extremists, including at least five 11 September 2001 hijackers."

The transfer of the pair conveniently comes just as conspiranoids right and left are avidly touting a Dec. 15 New York Post piece, "Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup," on the redacted pages in the Congressional report on 9-11, dealing with "specific sources of foreign support" for the attackers. Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) say they've read the redacted section, but "can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law." They've proposed Congress pass a resolution