Guantanamo prisoner released, the first of Trump's presidency

The number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Cuba has decreased for the first time since President Donald Trump came into office the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday

The Spokesman for the State Security said that as part of the efforts to repatriate Saudis detained overseas, citizen Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Derbi has been repatriated from Guantanamo Bay and he arrived in the kingdom at 11:55 pm Wednesday.

Al-Derbi entered a plea deal in February 2014 that saw him admit to planning, aiding and supporting an attack on the MV Limburg, which killed a Bulgarian sailor, injured a dozen and caused a large oil spill in the Gulf of Aden. The last announced detainee transfer from Guantanamo was over a year ago, in January 19, the day before Mr. Trump was inaugurated.

"The United States coordinated with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with established standards for security and humane treatment", Higgins said.

President George W. Bush opened Guantanamo after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to hold and interrogate suspected enemy combatants.

A Pentagon official says the changes apply to those captured in battle and provide guidance on detainees who present a continuing and specific threat to USA security.

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, signed an executive order in 2009 ordering that the detention facility be shut down.

In contrast, Trump pledged during his campaign to repopulate the prison, saying he wanted to "to load it up with some bad dudes".

President Trump's order was blasted by groups that have on behalf of some Guantanamo detainees, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

Trump also asked the Pentagon to re-examine the United States military's detention policy.

Earlier Wednesday U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued guidelines stating the United States will continue to send suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay if they pose a "continuing, significant threat" to the country.

A White House National Security spokesman confirmed that it had received the new detainee criteria. His family had been informed of his return and arrangements were being made for him to meet them, the spokesman said, confirming that Darbi would now join a "rehabilitation programme".

Currently, U.S. -backed forces in Syria are holding more than 400 IS foreign fighters.

Al Arabiya English correspondent has reported that this is the first Guantanamo release under the Trump administration.

"In some cases, those countries have stripped them of their citizenship, so they have a different view as far as to what their status is today", Mattis added.

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