NINE YEMENI GITMO DETAINEES WERE RELEASED TO SAUDI ARABIA:


Saudi Arabia on Saturday took in nine Yemeni detainees from Guantánamo, a breakthrough deal with the at-times stubborn oil kingdom that left 80 captives at the downsizing U.S. military detention center in Cuba.

Among those the U.S. Air Force delivered to Saudi Arabia was 5-foot-4-inch hunger striker Tariq Ba Odah, 38, who gained prominence by asking a federal judge to order his release after he shriveled to 74 pounds despite daily U.S. Navy medical tube feedings.

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Cleared for years, Ba Odah, like the others released, could not go back to Yemen because of a White House policy that forbids repatriations to the poor, violent nation south of Saudi Arabia on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

But in a turnabout, the Saudi government agreed to take non-citizens from Guantánamo to its rehabilitation program set up to help Saudi jihadists transition back into society. All nine men have relatives living there, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the deal. In fact, four were born in Saudi Arabia to Yemeni parents.

Read more: Miami Herald

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