After nearly 20 years at Guantanamo Bay, where he was never prosecuted for a crime, the United States releases an Algerian man accused of being a bomb-making instructor.

Sufyian Barhoumi, a 48-year-old Algerian, has been repatriated from the United States to Algeria after spending over two decades at the notorious Guantanamo Bay jail without being prosecuted in court.

In 2002, he was apprehended in a Pakistani safehouse with a key al-Qaeda member, and the US accused him of being involved in a plot to destroy the US.

However, after 19 years in custody, the US Department of Defense determined that his incarceration was no longer essential.

Algeria had also promised to treat him humanely, according to the US.

According to the department, US officials suggested that Barhoumi be returned to Algeria “subject to security… guarantee” by the Algerian government.

“The United States appreciates Algeria’s and other allies’ commitment to support ongoing US efforts toward a methodical and complete process aimed at responsibly lowering the detainee population and eventually closing the Guantanamo Bay facility,” according to the statement.

With the recent release, 37 inmates remain in the detention center, with 18 of them eligible for transfer. The detention center is part of a US naval base complex in south-eastern Cuba. The detention facility has been used to house terrorists and ‘illegal’ combatants since 2002.

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