WASHINGTON: A Guantanamo Bay detainee — who pleaded guilty to helping plan a 2002 attack on a French oil tanker — is set to be transferred from the military prison to Saudi Arabia, a US official said Tuesday.
Saudi citizen Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi has cooperated with the government since entering his plea as part of a deal four years ago, and authorities say he should now be sent to a Saudi rehabilitation centre for extremists.
If transferred, Darbi would be the first Guantanamo inmate to be released since US President Donald Trump took office more than a year ago.
Darbi entered a plea deal in February 2014 that saw him admit to planning, aiding, and supporting an attack on the MV Limburg, which killed a Bulgarian sailor, injured a dozen, and caused a large oil spill in the Gulf of Aden.
As part of his plea, Darbi has provided evidence against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — another Saudi Guantanamo detainee, who faces the death penalty on charges he masterminded the MV Limburg attack and the 2000 attack against the USS Cole in Yemen that left 17 dead.
Commander Sarah Higgins — a Pentagon spokesperson — said the Defense Department hopes Darbi’s transfer “will take place soon”.