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A teenager who allegedly killed an American special-operations soldier will be among more than 100 men and boys at the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are scheduled to be released from American custody in the next two months.
As WorldNetDaily first reported exclusively, Omar Khadr of Toronto is accused of killing a U.S. Special Forces medic July 28.
It is unclear whether Khadr and the others will face further detention or prosecution in their home countries, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
While the official would not give names, he said one of the detainees killed a special operations soldier in Afghanistan as a U.S.-led coalition fought the Taliban regime in 2001. He did not know the reason for the release.
Military officials have said intelligence gathering is the main purpose for housing the suspects at Guantanamo, where 660 prisoners from 44 countries are being held without charge or access to lawyers.
Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Com. Barbara Burfeind told WorldNetDaily she cannot talk about specific detainees, but said those who are released no longer have intelligence value and are believed to pose no further threat.
She affirmed that in the case of Omar Khadr, his transfer would mean the U.S. has no charge against him.
The U.S. and Canada sparred over the fate of the Khadr, 15 at the time of the killing. The U.S. military believes the Toronto youth and his family are closely tied to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network. He previously was held at the U.S. military headquarters in Bagram, Afghanistan, north of the capital city of Kabul.
The Canadian government had been pressuring Washington for the return of its citizen, while the U.S. government continued to grill Khadr on the death of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, 28. Khadr sustained serious injuries in the altercation with the medic.
Khadr is the son of Ahmed Saeed Khadr, a Canadian citizen whom the U.S. also has accused of having direct ties to bin Laden. The Khadr incident has proved embarrassing to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who once intervened on behalf of the father.
The father was arrested in 1995 in connection with a bomb at the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad – a suicide attack that killed 17. According to the Ottawa Citizen, a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report says Khadr is “alleged to have moved … money through” Human Concern International, a Canadian relief agency, “from Afghanistan to Pakistan to pay for the operation.”
Chretien pressed then-Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during a trade mission to give Khadr due process in Canada.
Omar Khadr’s brother, Abdurahman Khadr, returned to Canada yesterday after his release from Guantanamo in October.
Abdurahman Khadr admitted he had been trained at an “al-Qaida-related camp for three months in 1998, but played down his family’s suspected ties to bin Laden, according to Reuters.
“It was an al-Qaida related training camp … there’s lots of organizations in Afghanistan that are connected to al-Qaida, but are different,” Khadr said in Toronto. “It’s not training to kill Americans, it’s just training to go and fight against the Northern Alliance.
The U.S. has released 88 prisoners from Guantanamo since January 2002. Four were detained further in their home countries.
Two transfers are scheduled for the end of the month and another in January, the official told the AP.
“We do expect there will be other transfers but because of operational procedures, I can’t talk about any details,” Lt.-Col. Pamela Hart said. “We only talk about detainee movements after an operation is complete.”