The Cleared Gitmo Detainees: Muieen Adeen Al-Sattar
This is part two of a five-part series on the remaining cleared Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Last week we told you about Rida Bin Saleh Al-Yazidi, a Gitmo detainee who has been at the military prison for 15 years, in spite of being cleared for transfer a decade ago. This week we want to tell you about Muieen Adeen Al-Sattar, another detainee stuck in Guantanamo for 15 years, and was determined to no longer pose a threat to the national security of the United States seven years ago.
Al-Sattar is a 42-year-old ethnic Rohingya Burmese man who was born in the United Arab Emirates, but holds Pakistani citizenship. He lived in Saudi Arabia through high school and worked as a religion teacher in Mecca following graduation.
Between 2004 and 2007 at Guantanamo, Al-Sattar received a Combatant Status Review and three Administrative Review Board (the precursor to Periodic Review Board) hearings. Those four summaries all largely describe the same history.
In the summer of 2001, al-Sattar took a trip to Pakistan. While in Pakistan, the U.S. government believed he connected with an individual who convinced him to go to Afghanistan to fight. Reports from senior al Qaeda members indicate that he became a member and trained others at the al Farouq training camp. He was ultimately captured in Pakistan in December 2001.
On November 10, 2008, the JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment for Al-Sattar recommended him for continued detention (JTF-GTMO is the U.S. military group that runs the prison). Per their assessment, “if released without rehabilitation, close supervision and means and desire to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law-abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities.”
It’s worth noting that the validity of the information contained in these reviews has been called into question a number of times. Federal courts, national security agencies and intelligence experts have all noted that parts of these reports came from former detainees, and in some cases following torture or to avoid torture. We’ve detailed extensively that information gained from torture is not only immoral, but highly unreliable.
Al-Sattar was cleared for transfer on January 22, 2010, as a result of the Guantanamo Review Task Force created by President Obama’s Executive Order 13492. While specific details of the decision are unavailable, this indicates the government acknowledged that the information contained in the previous reports was either inaccurate or it otherwise addressed those concerns.
152 detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay since January 22, 2010. There has been no explanation as to why Al-Sattar has not been one of them. He has spent over seven years in detention knowing that he has been determined to no longer pose a threat to the security of the United States. President Trump should end the needless and expensive detention of cleared detainees and ensure Al-Sattar and those like him are transferred.