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DoD Announces Transfer of Guantanamo Bay Detainee Saifullah Paracha

The Department of Defense announced today the repatriation of Saifullah Paracha from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Pakistan.

On May 13, 2021, after Review Committee action pursuant to Executive Order 13567, it was determined that continued law of war detention of Saifullah Paracha was no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. 

Paracha was born in Pakistan in 1947. He graduated from a university in Karachi with a degree in physics and attended the New York Institute of Technology, studying computer systems analysis. He was captured in July 2003 in an FBI sting operation in Thailand. He was subsequently held for being an Al-Qaeda sympathizer but had never been charged with a crime. Paracha’s son, Uzair Paracha, was convicted in 2005 for providing support to Al-Qaeda. Uzair was released on March 13, 2020 and willingly repatriated to Pakistan, giving up his resident status.

On September 12, 2022, Secretary of Defense Austin notified Congress of his intent to repatriate Saifullah Paracha to Pakistan, and, in consultation with Pakistani partners, the U.S. completed the requirements for responsible transfer. 

The United States appreciates the willingness of Pakistan and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing the Guantanamo Bay facility.

The Periodic Review Board process was established by the President’s March 7, 2011 Executive Order 13567. It is consistent with section 1023 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 and affirmed in Executive Order 13823 (January 30, 2018).

The Periodic Review Board panel consists of one senior career official each from the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State, along with the Joint Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Today, 35 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay; 20 are eligible for transfer; three are eligible for a Periodic Review Board; nine are involved in the military commissions process; and three detainees have been convicted in military commissions.

Read more at the Department of Defense

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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