Saudi terror suspects go home

Feb. 22, 2007 at 11:15 AM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Seven Saudi nationals released from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned home but still face trial in Saudi Arabian courts.

Arab News, quoting a Saudi Interior Ministry, identified the seven as Majed al-Harbi, Rashed al-Ghamdi, Faisal al-Naser, Muhammad al-Harbi, Naser al-Surbaei, Abdullah al-Judi and Majed al-Qurashi.

The seven arrived in Riyadh Wednesday, and were the seventh group of Saudi terror suspects transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi custody.

"All in the six previous group have been tried and released from prison (in Saudi Arabia)," Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Rurki was quoted by the newspaper. "If their trials produce no evidence against them, they will be released."

The U.S. Defense Department said the detainees had been recommended for transfer to Saudi custody by an administrative review board at the detention facility.

"There are ongoing processes to review the status of detainees held at Guantanamo," it said in a news release. "A determination about the continued detention or transfer of a detainee is based on the best information and evidence available at the time, both classified and unclassified."

The DOD said there are about 390 terror suspects still being held at Guantanamo Bay. Since 2002, about 385 have been returned to their home countries. Those countries include Yemen, Britain, Uganda, Turkey, Tajikistan, Sudan, Sweden, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Morocco, Maldives, Libya, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Germany, France, Egypt, Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Australia, Afghanistan and Albania.

An attorney representing Saudi detainees said the latest release and transfer of suspected terrorists, including one known to have been caught in Afghanistan, brings to 68 the number of Saudi nationals still in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay.

It was not clear what charges the seven detainees will face in a Saudi court.

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