Guantanamo detainee hopes to start 'milk and honey farm' in Yemen

Jan. 28, 2014 at 5:59 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A lawyer for an alleged member of Osama bin Laden's security detail asked U.S. authorities Tuesday to allow Abdel Malik Wahab al-Rahabi to return to Yemen.

David Remes, representing al-Rahabi at a hearing in Arlington, Va., said the 34-year-old being held indefinitely at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, wants to study, teach and start a farming operation called Yemen Milk and Honey Farms with other current detainees, the Miami Herald reported. Al-Rahabi also wants to spend time with the 13-year-old daughter he last saw as a baby, Remes said.

Reporters were only allowed to be present for 19 minutes of the proceedings, the equivalent of a parole hearing. Al-Rahabi was not allowed to talk during that time.

Remes read a statement he said al-Rahabi had approved: "His whole family, Ayesha most of all, will keep him firmly anchored at home."

Al-Rahabi, one of the longest-held detainees at Guantanamo, is believed to have been one of bin Laden's guards. He is one of 48 inmates classified as an "indefinite detainee."

The government released a security profile in advance of the hearing that agreed al-Rahabi wants to rejoin his family. But the profile said that a brother-in-law became a "prominent extremist"

Given political conditions in Yemen, the profile said Rahabi would be able to re-connect with al-Qaida easily if he wishes to.

Al-Rahabi was one of the detainees who went on a hunger strike last year. Remes said since the strike he has been a model inmate.

He and four other detainees have drawn up a detailed plan for their proposed farming operation.

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