US resettles Pakistani Guantanamo Bay detainee in Belize

US resettles Pakistani Guantanamo Bay detainee in Belize

Washington (Web Desk): The US government on Thursday resettled a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Pakistani Majid Khan, in Belize after he finished serving his sentence.

Khan, 42, admitted in 2012 to conspiring with members of the Al Qaeda militant organisation responsible for the 2001 attacks to commit murder as well as providing material support for terrorism and spying and had been serving as a government witness since according to US officials.

He was captured in Pakistan and held at an unidentified CIA “black site” from 2003 to 2006 before being placed at the detention camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

In a statement issued through his legal team, Khan welcomed what he called a second chance in life.

“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,” Khan said.

“I have been given a second chance in life and I intend to make the most of it,” Khan said in a statement.

The US government is aiming to “responsibly reduce the detainee population” at Guantanamo Bay and ultimately close the facility, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Thursday.

Khan was one of the better known prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay facility - a US military prison that once housed hundreds of suspected militants captured following the 9/11 attacks.

That was in part due to his testimony about being tortured while held in secret in CIA custody overseas from 2003, following his capture in Pakistan, to 2006.

In a testimony during a hearing at the Guantanamo Bay facility in 2021, Khan alleged he was subjected to beatings and waterboarding and was stripped nude and forced to undergo procedures including enemas during his time at the overseas CIA site.

Khan was the first Guantanamo detainee released since last October, leaving 34 detainees — down from a peak of 800 — at the facility, with 20 others already deemed eligible for transfer to another country, according to US officials.