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Gitmo transfer to Yemen in doubt

Dec. 27, 2009 at 10:47 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. plans to send Guantanamo detainees to Yemen must be re-examined in light of an attempt to destroy a Northwest Airlines jet, lawmakers said.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla, the Nigerian man charged with Friday's bombing attempt, allegedly told authorities in Detroit that al-Qaida members in Yemen engineered the explosive device found sewn into his underwear, ABC News reported Sunday.

The Obama administration had planned to send 80 Yemenis held at Guantanamo home in the coming months.

Congressional Republicans have long opposed the plan because Yemen has a relatively weak government, fierce al-Qaida insurgencies and is the ancestral home of Osama Bin Laden.

That instability and the attack against the Northwest jet now has persuaded a leading Democrat to reconsider plans to transfer detainees to Yemen, Politico reported Sunday.

"I'd, at a minimum, say that whatever we were about to do we'd at least have to scrub (those plans) again from top to bottom," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

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