On Tuesday, 16 August 2016, a board related to Guantanamo Bay will conduct a hearing to determine whether Guantanamo detainee Mustafa Faraj Muhammad Masud al-Jadid al-Uzaybi (ISN 10017) (also known as “al Libbi”) poses an ongoing threat to the national security of the U.S. If he is deemed not to be such a threat, he may be released from Guantanamo Bay.
Al Libbi, who hails from Libya, is an alleged high-level member of al Qaeda. He was arrested near Peshawar, Pakiston, following his detention at a secret camp previously. He is alleged to have at one point been the 4th highest-ranking member of al Qaeda.
Al Libbi is considered to be an HVD (“High Value Detainee”), as compared to the LVD’s (“Low Value Detainee”).
The ‘hearing” is officially known as a “Periodic Review Board”, and has authority flowing from a Presidential Executive Order Number 13567, dated 7 March 2011, which has required most detainees to have a “periodic review” of their detention status. This will be was al Libbi’s “initial review” (or “initial PR”).
This PRB will be held in the primary courtroom in Guantanamo Bay, inside the Expeditionary Legal Complex, but will be broadcast by secure video-link to secret locations at the Pentagon and elsewhere within the U.S. Government. I plan to view it at the Pentagon.
If a detainee is cleared for release after his initial review, he would have no additional hearings. If he is not cleared for release he would have a “file review” every six months. If he remains uncleared, he would have a “full review” every three years.
About 45 the 61 men remaining captive at Guantanamo are entitled to PRBs per the rules, and about 40 have had an initial review. Many who have had initial reviews were subsequently cleared for release, and many of those have actually been released post-initial review, including a number who were repatriated to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, 15 August 2016.
PRBs do not assess the defendant’s guilt or innocence, and are not criminal proceedings.
As of today, 61 prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, with 15 being released over the weekend.