Late Tuesday, the Pentagon said that it has released five more detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, transferring the three Yemenis and two Tunisians to Kazakhstan for resettlement. Their transfer brings the 2014 total to 28 — the highest number since 2009, when President Obama first tried to close the prison camp — and leaves 127 detainees at Guantanamo. More transfers are expected in coming weeks.
The five men — identified as Asim Thabit Abdullah al-Khalaqi, Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna, and Sabri Mohammad Ibrahim Al Qurashi of Yemen, and Tunisian nationals Adel al-Hakeemy and Abdullah bin Ali al-Lufti — have been held at Guantanamo for at least 11 years, and cleared for release since 2009.
The men were detained on suspicion of various links to al Qaeda, but a U.S. official tells Reuters that the five "could be described as low-level, if even that." Lufti, who denies accusations that he had ties to Tunisian militants while he was living in Italy in the 1990s, has been recommended for transfer since 2004, due to a heart condition.