A handful of Guantanamo Bay inmates with shady terrorist-tied pasts — and who were labeled ‘forever prisoners’ because of their threat levels — have now been placed on release lists, claiming yoga and aspirations to operate a “milk and honey farm” have turned them into peaceful, productive citizens.
In April, Ghaleb Nasser al Bihani, 35, told the Periodic Review Board that he’s read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dalai Lama biographies and wants only to lead “an ordinary life,” the Daily Mail reported.
Yet intelligence has shown that Bihani, who hails from Yemen, is a troublemaker at Gitmo and has “ill intentions to the U.S.” The Daily Mail reported that intelligence also shows he was “almost certainly” a trained former al Qaeda member — and his brothers were jihadists.
His attorney, however, claims he was only a cook for a group that was once tied to the Taliban, but that doesn’t even exist any longer. Bihani also says he is now a regular yoga practitioner who only wants to start and raise a family, the Daily Mail reported.
A second Gitmo prisoner, Mahmud And al Mujahid, 33, also from Yemen, has been recently cleared for release, the Daily Mail reported. His statements to the Periodic Review Board: “[As a child], we were taught politeness, respect and human being [awareness],” he said, the Daily Mail reported.
A character witness who was called to testify on behalf of Mujahid said that all the Yemeni wants in life now is to own and operate a “milk and honey farm,” the Daily Mail reported.
A third inmate, Ali Ahmad al-Razihi, 33, suspected of being part of the “Dirty 30” who surrounded Osama bin Laden as part of his security detail, told the board that he wants to only go home to Yemen, marry and help out with his family’s fruit and vegetable farm, the Daily Mail reported.
The board cited his “positive attitude,” the Daily Mail reported.
The White House, meanwhile, declined to say just how many more Gitmo inmates are going to be released, but confirmed that some were being considered for freeing, the Daily Mail reported.
President Obama made the closure of Gitmo one of his campaign promises and priorities, but stoked congressional controversies with his behind-the-scenes agreement to trade five Taliban members for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a few days ago, without abiding the 30-day notification rule.
The United States still has 149 prisoners at Gitmo, 78 of whom have been reportedly cleared for transfer to their home nations or to another country.