The Obama administration has released dozens of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, which once held more than 600 terror suspects but now holds around 80.
One of Guantanamo Bay’s most dangerous and longest-held terror suspects is a Saudi national who knows how to fly planes and build sophisticated bombs, speaks fluent English and remains committed to killing Americans, say former U.S. officials who dealt with Ghassan al Sharbi face-to-face.
Revelations last week that Al Sharbi’s flight training certificate, tucked into a Saudi Arabian Embassy envelope, had been found in 2003 among a trove of documents buried in Pakistan following his arrest there, raised fresh questions about the Kingdom’s possible involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Although Al Sharbi, who trained with several of the 9/11 hijackers at an Arizona flight school, did not take part in the attacks, he is seen as one of the most lethal and committed terrorists held at the military base.
“In my view, Ghassan al Sharbi was one of the most dangerous men held in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay,” said retired Army Maj. Gen. Jay Hood, who oversaw the detention facility. “I knew him well and my assessment is informed by a number of direct interactions I had with him between 2004 and 2006. He is extremely intelligent, well educated, and committed to a violent Islamic ideology.