9/11 Suspect Is Returned to Saudi Arabia for Mental Health Care

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — The Biden administration on Monday repatriated to Saudi Arabia for mental health and fitness care a prisoner who had been tortured so poorly by U.S. interrogators that he was ruled ineligible for demo as the suspected would-be 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 assaults.

The prisoner, Mohammed al-Qahtani, in his 40s, is the second to be transferred from the wartime prison below the administration.

A government panel encouraged lately that Mr. Qahtani, who experienced expended 20 decades at Guantánamo Bay, be produced soon after a Navy medical doctor recommended that he was too impaired to pose a long term threat — notably if he was sent to inpatient psychological treatment. The medical professional last calendar year upheld an impartial psychiatrist’s getting that Mr. Qahtani suffered from schizophrenia and article-traumatic worry dysfunction, and could not receive adequate treatment at the U.S. armed service prison.

His extended-serving lawyer, Shayana Kadidal of the Middle for Constitutional Rights, claimed the transfer was very long overdue.

“For 14 several years I’ve sat across from Mohammed as he talks to nonexistent people in the area and tends to make eye get hold of with the walls — some thing which is been a continual aspect of his lifetime since his teens,” Mr. Kadidal said. “It’s an extraordinary aid that the upcoming time the voices in his head convey to him to swallow a mouthful of damaged glass, he’ll be in a psychiatric facility, not a jail.”

Credit rating…by way of Ramzi Kassem

Mr. Qahtani’s case was controversial to the finish. 3 Republican senators questioned the president previous 7 days in a letter to halt all transfers from Guantánamo, and in particular to continue to keep Mr. Qahtani at the jail. “We are concerned that he may perhaps test to resume terrorist action after unveiled from U.S. custody,” wrote Senators James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jim Risch of Idaho and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The U.S. armed forces airlifted Mr. Qahtani from distant Guantánamo on Sunday, soon following the clock ran out on the 30 days’ observe Congress needs for a detainee transfer. In an unusual move, the Saudi governing administration did not send out its possess aircraft to retrieve him, which delayed the announcement of his release till the U.S. navy transfer operation was total.

Mr. Qahtani’s notoriety is linked to his try to enter the United States on Aug. 4, 2001, when an immigration inspector at the airport in Orlando, Fla., turned him absent. U.S. authorities afterwards identified that he was to be met there by Mohamed Atta, a ringleader of the attacks that had been carried out by 19 hijackers and killed approximately 3,000 people today in 4 just about simultaneous hijackings the subsequent month.

Mr. Qahtani observed his way to Afghanistan and was captured together the Pakistani border in late 2001. At Guantánamo, the U.S. armed forces isolated him when nude, disoriented and rest-deprived in a wooden hut at Camp X-Ray in late 2002 and early 2003, and questioned him brutally and relentlessly. A senior Bush administration official later concluded that the torture manufactured him ineligible for prosecution. Later, his attorneys disclosed that he experienced sustained a traumatic brain personal injury as a youth in Saudi Arabia and then was diagnosed with schizophrenia there, situations that also could have built him ineligible for trial.

The transfer follows the repatriation in July of a Moroccan person, Abdul Latif Nasser, whose launch was primarily organized in the dwindling days of the Obama administration but was hardly ever acted on by the Trump administration.

In a statement announcing Mr. Qahtani’s launch from Guantánamo, the Pentagon thanked Saudi Arabia and other spouse nations around the world for supporting U.S. initiatives to minimize the jail inhabitants with the target of finally closing the facility.

“After two a long time of indefinite detention, Mr. Qahtani last but not least has a likelihood to heal from the torture he endured, receive psychological health and fitness treatment Guantánamo simply cannot supply and ideally 1 day reclaim his daily life,” claimed Scott Roehm, the Washington director of the Centre of Victims Towards Torture. “His transfer is a welcome incremental move, but the Biden administration wants to act substantially speedier and extra comprehensively to near Guantánamo than it has so significantly.”

The transfer still left 38 detainees at Guantánamo, half of them accepted for release if the State Division can attain protection agreements with getting international locations that fulfill the secretary of defense. Of the rest, 12 have been billed with war crimes, including two gentlemen who have been convicted.

The other 7 are held as “law of war” prisoners, essentially detained indefinitely for the reason that the United States considers them also risky to release. Their scenarios are reviewed periodically by a U.S. authorities panel, which can advocate a transfer with specific protection measures, like limits on vacation or to detention in overseas prisons.