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Biden releases Al Qaeda instructor held at Guantanamo Bay for two decades

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The Biden Administration has just released Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush, a suspected Al Qaeda instructor. The terrorist was returned to Algeria on Thursday after being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay for two decades.

“The United States appreciates the willingness of the Government of Algeria, and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts toward a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing the Guantanamo Bay facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

According to the New York Times, Bakush is the sixth Guantanamo prisoner released in the past six months; an effort to reduce the population and eventually shut down the facility. A DOD review board determined Bakush was eligible for transfer on April 13, after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin notified Congress of his intent to repatriate the detainee in February, according to the statement.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports:

Bakush is one of the last detainees to be released among a group of 20 suspected low-level Islamist fighters captured in a 2002 raid on facilities U.S. and Pakistani authorities believed Al Qaeda was using as safe houses, according to The New York Times. The Department of Defense (DOD) reached an agreement with Algeria to transfer Bakush, originally thought to hail from Libya, subject to continued monitoring, travel restrictions and security conditions, the statement said

…All 20 operatives swept up the raid on Faisalabad dwellings were detained in Guantanamo, but only one remains as of Bakush’s transfer, the NYT reported.

U.S. forces initially identified Bakush as Ali Abdul Razzaq from Libya, but he later claimed to be from Algeria and gave his name as Said Bakush, the NYT reported.

Bakush became increasingly reclusive during his two decades as prisoner, boycotting hearings to determine his suitability for release and in 2017 or 2018 refusing to speak with his lawyer, H. Candace Gorman, according to the NYT. He huddled in his cell at Camp 6, a building where more pliant detainees are permitted to eat, pray and watch TV together.

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Middle East

Islamic Republic arresting women who refuse to wear the mandated Hijab

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The Islamic Republic of Iran is emboldening its prowess as it seems to be getting away with instigating unrest in the Middle East. Over the weekend, Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones against Israel. But inside the country, authoritarian reign is also rearing its ugly head. On April 3, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated his support for the Hijab coverings for women. He stated that “Hijab is a Sharia-based obligation that must not be abrogated. Hijab is also a legal obligation, and everyone must respect the law.” morality police have been reported to be involved in a new crackdown on women in the country who refuse to wear the mandated hijab in public places.

On April 15, Iranian journalist Diana Ghalibaf posted on X that she had been arrested for a hijab violation and was later returned to jail for her subsequent publicizing of the event. The regime’s national police chief, Ahmad-Reza Radan, announced in an April 11th press release that more attention would be paid to public dress standards.

Foreign Desk News reports: “Social media images of the new efforts have shown violent arrests by both male and female officers, including the use of Tasers to force compliance. One new tactic appears to be the deployment of plainclothes officers near the confrontation sites to prevent bystanders from interfering with any of the investigations.”

 

 

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