WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Kuwaiti held at
the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison since 2002 faces a parole-style
hearing on Wednesday on whether he should be transferred home following
Kuwait's assurances of a rehabilitation program.
The man, Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al-Awda, 37, may have fought
alongside al Qaeda and Taliban, according to a U.S. Defense
Department prisoner profile. His lawyer contends he is not a threat
to the United States.
Al-Awda's appearance before the Periodic Review Board is to
re-examine whether he should still be held without charge at the
U.S. prison in Cuba for terrorism suspects, or be transferred to
Kuwait and the United States have defined security commitments for
al-Awda "which we understand to be acceptable to both governments,"
his lawyer, Eric Lewis, said in a statement available on a Pentagon
The commitments include a rehabilitation program of at least one
year at a Kuwaiti prison, followed by weekly check-ins with police
and security monitoring, Lewis said.
Al-Awda wants to return to Kuwait, reunite with his family, marry
and enter the family plumbing supply business, he said.
The Pentagon profile said al-Awda probably attended extremist
training camp and may have fought in Afghanistan. He has been at
Guantanamo Bay since February 2002 and has been a leader among the
Al-Awda is the seventh Guantanamo Bay prisoner to appear before the
national security panel. The board was established to speed up the
prison's closing, ordered by President Barack Obama.
The number of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has fallen to 149 with the
swap of five Taliban detainees for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl
on Saturday. The Taliban had held Bergdahl after he disappeared from
his Afghanistan base in June 2009.
The Periodic Review Board has determined that three Yemenis are
eligible for transfer. The most recent transfer ruling came last
month for Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, after his defenders contended he
had been a cook in Afghanistan and was not a threat to the United
The panel has found that a fourth Yemeni should remain in custody.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)