4 More Gitmo Inmates Released
'Final push' continues despite Trump plea
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2017 12:33 AM CST
Guantanamo's "Camp X-Ray" detention center.   (Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – The Pentagon says four Guantanamo prisoners have been released and sent to Saudi Arabia, part of a final push by President Obama to reduce the population at the detention center in the final weeks of his administration. The four are from Yemen, and each had been held at Guantanamo for more than 14 years. They were suspected of being low-level militants with ties to al-Qaeda but never charged, the AP reports. They were cleared for release following an extensive security review, the Department of Defense said in announcing the move Thursday. Their release brings the Guantanamo population to 55, including 19 cleared for release.

The administration has previously said that it will try to get as many of the cleared prisoners out as possible before Obama leaves office. President-elect Donald Trump this week called for a halt of releases, tweeting that the detainees "are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield." The latest inmates to be released are being sent to Saudi Arabia for resettlement and are expected to take part in a rehabilitation program. The US must find other countries to accept Yemeni prisoners because it won't send Yemeni prisoners back to their homeland, fearing that the civil war there will make it impossible to monitor them and ensure they don't return to militancy.

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