MIAMI — Five men who had been held for more than 13 years at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been released and sent to the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said Sunday.
The five Yemeni men were accepted for resettlement in the Persian Gulf nation after U.S. authorities determined they no longer posed a threat, the Defense Department said in a statement. Their release brings the Guantanamo prison population to 107.
The released men, who arrived in the UAE on Saturday, were identified as Ali Ahmad Muhammad al-Razihi, Khalid Abd-al-Jabbar Muhammad Uthman al-Qadasi, Adil Said al-Hajj Ubayd al-Busays, Sulayman Awad Bin Uqayl al-Nahdi, and Fahmi Salem Said al-Asani.
None of the men had been charged with a crime, but they had been detained as enemy combatants. They could not be sent to their homeland because the U.S. considers Yemen too unstable to accept prisoners from Guantanamo. These are the first prisoners accepted by the UAE for resettlement.
President Barack Obama has reduced the number of prisoners by more than half since he took office. He had sought to close the detention center but faced opposition from Congress. The administration is now seeking to move detainees to the United States amid intense opposition.