Brothers held at Guantánamo Bay for 2 decades released to Pakistan
The big picture: Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani, 55, and Mohammed Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani, 53, were detained without charge after being accused of helping operate safe houses for suspected Al-Qaeda operatives after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to the New York Times.
- They've been detained at Guantánamo Bay since 2004 after being held at a C.I.A.-run detention site in Afghanistan for nearly two years, per the Times.
Zoom out: Their transfers come as the Biden administration works to fulfill its promise to close the Guantánamo prison.
- Another detainee, Majid Khan, who admitted to his role as an al-Qaeda courier, was transferred to Belize earlier this month after completing his sentence.
- Saifullah Paracha, who was held at the detention center since 2003 on suspicion of being tied to al-Qaeda, was released in October and was never charged with a crime.
Details: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in January notified Congress of his intent to repatriate both men to the Pakistani government, per the Defense Department.
- Their transfers were approved in 2021 after it was determined that detaining the men was "no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat" to national security.
- It's not clear why the men were not released sooner.
Of note: 32 people remain detained at Guantánamo Bay, with 18 eligible for transfer, per the DOD.