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US preparing to transfer first high-value Guantanamo detainee

A group of detainees kneel during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the US military prison for "enemy combatants" on October 28, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba [John Moore/Getty Images]
A group of detainees kneel in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 28 October 2009 [John Moore/Getty Images]

The first high-level detainee at the controversial US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been cleared for transfer with security guarantees, according to a recently published report and also reported by Anadolu News Agency.

The Periodic Review Board at Guantanamo Bay has recommended that Guled Duran, a Somali national who has been held without charge at the facility since he was taken there by the CIA in 2006, be released, the New York Times reported Monday. But it is unlikely that Duran will be leaving the facility any time soon.

Duran is one of 39 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay and now joins either 13 or 14 others who have been cleared for release, according to the Times.

US President, Joe Biden, has transferred only one inmate at the prison in the one year he has been in office. The Moroccan national was originally cleared for transfer under former President Barack Obama, but the process stalled during the Trump administration before the man was released in July.

READ: US transfers Moroccan out of Guantanamo after 19-year detention

A location for Duran's transfer has yet to be established but a document dated 10 November, obtained by the Times, maintained "vigorous efforts will be undertaken to identify a suitable transfer location," which will be "outside the United States, subject to appropriate security and humane treatment assurances."

Duran's lawyer, Shayana Kadidal, told the newspaper that he was informed of the decision after his client was notified early Monday.

Duran lived in Sweden as a refugee during his teen years and reportedly has relatives in Canada.

Another detainee, Moath Al-Alwi, has also been approved for transfer, according to a Facebook post from his sister. His lawyer declined to comment.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the status of Duran or Al-Awli.

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