Transfer of Ahmed al-Darbi to Saudi Arabia surprised observers by going against president’s pledge to restock military prison

The Trump administration has made its first major move relating to prisoners at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, surprising observers by doing the exact opposite of the president’s proclaimed intention: instead of bringing in new detainees it has transferred an inmate off the island to Saudi Arabia.

The unexpected news came in a Pentagon announcement that it had completed the transfer of Ahmed al-Darbi, 43, a self-confessed al-Qaida member who pleaded guilty in 2014. According to McClatchy, the prisoner was picked up by a Saudi government plane on Tuesday night and taken to a detention center in the kingdom where he is likely to remain until he has finished his full 13-year sentence in 2027.

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