The United States is starting “a new process for the periodic review of certain detainees at Guantanamo” to address whether a threat to the country’s security is abrogated by their continued detention, according to the State Department.
Daniel Ernst, Director and Arabic language spokesperson at the U.S. State Department’s Dubai Regional Media Hub has told the Daily News Egypt that Tarek Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Sawah, Egypt’s last prisoner in Guantanamo Bay military prison, is among those who will be considered in the periodic review.
Ernst added, however that “under the 2009-2010 Guantanamo Detainee Executive Order Task Force review, which examined all available information about individuals then detained at Guantanamo, Mr. Al-Sawah was not designated for transfer.”
A letter from the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohamed Amr Kamal, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting Al-Sawah’s release was received at the State Department last Wednesday.
The US alleges Al-Sawah, 54 from Alexandria, attended Al-Qaeda training camps, trained Al-Qaeda members to use explosives, and fought with Al-Qaeda against the US in Tora Bora, Afghanistan in November 2001.
Al-Sawah was detained in Guantanamo in early 2002, and accused of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Al-Sawah was only charged, however, in 2008, with conspiring against the US and providing material support for terrorism. His case never went to trial and the charges were subsequently dropped in early March of this year.