As the fate of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is discussed on bar stools and cable television studios around the country, the Obama administration may be planning on releasing another prisoner held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to Fox News.
For more than a decade Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al-Awda has been held in Guantano Bay as people around the globe have plead for his release. According to his father, Al Awda was kidnapped by Pakistani bounty hunters while on a missions trip, and turned over to the United States in the months following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The State Department has consistently challenged that al-Awda was in fact headed to help train and fight alongside Al Qaeda rebels.
“My son is not a terrorist. He was, in fact, a great admirer of American political values and legal principles before he was kidnapped and sent to Guantanamo. Our family is nonetheless willing to undergo the ordeal of trial and judgment, if only the U.S. government would allow it to happen,” al-Awda’s father wrote in the Washington Post in 2006.
On Wednesday, al-Awda appeared via a video feed before a case review board outside Washington, D.C. His attorney argued that the man poses no threat to the United States and would be immediately sent to a rehab facility in Kuwait if he was released from United States custody.
What has complicated al-Awda’s case is years of hostility while imprisoned. Al-Awda has reportedly gone on several hunger strikes and repeatedly lashed out at officials at Gitmo. While his attorney doesn’t deny these allegations, he concludes that his client has calmed down in recent years, after having difficulty adjusting to prison life.
The timing of al-Awda’s possible release would pose a precarious situation for the Obama administration. While evidence suggests that al-Awda has a credible argument for release, he is making it at a time when the entire country is currently questioning the decisions of the president.
If al-Awda was released, a plan is in place to ensure that he would no longer pose a threat to the United States. Officials would monitor all of al-Awda’s Internet activity, demand that he check in with a local police department once a week and ban him from traveling outside of Kuwait.