Biden admin transfers a Guantanamo detainee to Belize

Majid Khan, a Pakistani citizen and Guantanamo’s only known legal U.S. resident, arrived in Belize on Thursday. Two more detainees could leave the facility in Cuba soon.

By Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee

Majid Khan. Courtesy Center for Constitutional Rights

The Biden administration transferred a detainee from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Thursday and is preparing to transfer at least two more in the coming weeks, according to two senior U.S. officials and a former senior administration official.

Majid Khan left Guantanamo early Thursday and arrived in Belize several hours later, the officials said. He is the first detainee to be resettled by the Biden administration and one of the few to be sent to a location in the Western Hemisphere.

“I have been given a second chance in life and I intend to make the most of it,” said Khan in a statement issued through his legal team. “I deeply regret the things that I did many years ago, and I have taken responsibility and tried to make up for them. I continue to ask for forgiveness from God and those I have hurt. I am truly sorry. The world has changed a lot in 20 years, and I have changed a lot as well. I promise all of you, especially the people of Belize, that I will be a productive, law-abiding member of society. Thank you for believing in me, and I will not let you down. My actions will speak louder than my words.”

A Pakistani citizen and Guantanamo’s only known legal U.S. resident; Khan was granted asylum while attending high school near Baltimore in 1998. He returned to Pakistan in 2002 and, according to a Defense Department detainee assessment, joined Al Qaeda and became a direct subordinate to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, often known as KSM, Al Qaeda’s senior operational planner and the principal architect of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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