US Releases Former Al-Qaida Member, ‘High-Value’ Detainee From Guantanamo Bay

(Photo by PAUL HANDLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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U.S. authorities released Majid Khan, a “high-value” prisoner and confessed Al-Qaida member, from Guantanamo Bay on Thursday, his attorneys said.

Khan, a Pakistani national whose family settled in the United States in Baltimore, Maryland, was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and transferred into CIA custody, where he was detained at a number of black sites and tortured until he admitted in 2012 to taking part in the 2003 Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta, NBC News reported. He also confessed to plotting to assassinate Pakistani President Perves Musharraf, the New York Times reported.

“I have been given a second chance in life and I intend to make the most of it,” Khan said in a statement released by his legal representation. “I deeply regret the things that I did many years ago, and I have taken responsibility and tried to make up for them. I continue to ask for forgiveness from God and those I have hurt. I am truly sorry.”

Khan was released from U.S. custody into Belize. The Department of Defense thanked the government of Belize. (RELATED: Biden Admin Weighing Plan To House Migrants In Guantanamo: REPORT)

After his guilty plea in 2012, Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the hotel bombing. He agreed to cooperate with authorities in the prosecution of other suspects as part of his plea deal. He admitted to being a courier for Al-Qaida and transferring $50,000 from Pakistan to an affiliate in Indonesia, which was used to fund the Marriott bombing, NY Times reported.

Khan is the first ever “high-value” prisoner to be released from Guantanamo Bay. “High-value” detainees are those who were subjected to torture at CIA black sites and were suspected of being senior al-Qaida members, the outlet noted. Khan was also believed to be the first legal U.S. resident to be detained at Guantanamo Bay. There are now 34 inmates remaining at Guantanamo Bay.