The Obama administration released one of Guantanamo Bay’s longest-serving prisoners on Wednesday. Fawzi al-Odah, who had previously been classified as too dangerous to release, was sent back to Kuwait on the condition that he would serve one year in a militant-rehabilitation center.
In July, the board determined that al-Odah had most likely undergone terrorist training in Afghanistan and may have fought alongside the al-Qaida or the Taliban. The board, however, decided he had only a low level of training, did not have a leadership position in either group and could be released under certain conditions. The board has cleared a handful other detainees but they have not yet been released.
His father, Khalid al-Odah, said in several interviews with The Associated Press over the years that his son was only a teacher in Afghanistan who had been wrongly turned over to the U.S. authorities in exchange for a bounty. […]
The Kuwaiti government hired high-profile lawyers and lobbyists to push for the release of a dozen of its citizens at Guantanamo, an effort set back when one carried out a suicide bomb attack in Iraq in April 2008.
Al-Odah’s release is “yet another dangerous example of the Obama administration's misguided motivation to empty and then close Guantanamo rather than protect the national security interests of the United States," Sen. Kelley Ayotte said.
The 37-year-old’s release brings the number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay down to 148.