The Biden administration on Thursday released from Guantánamo Bay a former courier for the al Qaeda terrorist group, two decades after he was arrested for his participation in terrorist plots including a deadly Indonesia bombing.
Majid Khan was released in Belize roughly one year after the end of his sentence. His release from the Guantánamo detention center, where he was a “high-value” prisoner, was delayed because of difficulty finding a country willing to resettle him, the Washington Post reported.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday described Khan’s release as part of the administration’s “deliberate and thorough process, focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population” at Guantánamo Bay.
The Saudi Arabia-born Khan lived in Maryland before moving to Pakistan and working with al Qaeda. Khan dealt with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, and participated in the logistics of terrorist plots—couriering $50,000 to terrorists who killed 12 in a 2003 hotel bombing in Indonesia, the Post reported. He was captured in Pakistan in 2003.
Khan expressed contrition for his participation in terrorist plots, saying through a statement released by his lawyers, “I have been given a second chance in life and I intend to make the most of it.”
The Biden administration in October released another Guantánamo prisoner, Saifullah Paracha, who was accused of aiding al Qaeda’s financial operations and allegedly met with Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks. The administration in 2021 said it was committed to permanently closing the Guantánamo Bay detention center before President Joe Biden leaves office.
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