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Defense Department Releases Suspected Terrorist as Part of Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay

"...ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility..."

CAMP PENDLETON, CA - AUGUST 07: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during his visit at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base with troops and their families to thank them for their service on August 7, 2013 in Camp Pendleton, California. Obama announced today that he canceled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow amid tensions over National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and other issues. Credit: Getty Images

The Defense Department on Wednesday announced it has released a suspected terrorist from facilities in Guatanamo Bay, and said the move fits with the Obama administration's broader plan to close those facilities.

According to the department, an interagency review board found that the prisoner, Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda, does not pose a "significant threat" to the United States. As a result, he will be transferred to the government of Kuwait, which the Defense Department thanked for helping it to close down Guantanamo Bay.

CAMP PENDLETON, CA - AUGUST 07:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during his visit at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base with troops and their families to thank them for their service on August 7, 2013 in Camp Pendleton, California. Obama announced today that he canceled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow amid tensions over National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and other issues. Credit: Getty Images President Barack Obama's Defense Department has released a suspected terrorist being detained at Guantanamo Bay, and says the release is part of a plan to close those facilities. (Getty Images)

"The United States is grateful to the government of Kuwait for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the department said in a statement. "The United States coordinated with the government of Kuwait to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures."

The administration has long sought to close the facilities, which Democrats believe only foster more terrorist acts against the United States. Obama is known to be pushing for its closure in the last two years of his presidency.

Republicans, which just won major victories in the midterm elections, have blocked Obama's attempt to close Guantanamo Bay. Several GOP members have blasted the administration for swapping five detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and say there are signs that former detainees are back fighting against the United States.

Just last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel himself admitted that some former detainees are waging war against the U.S. again. "We do know that some have joined the fight," he said.

According to CBS News, Al Awda is the first release from Guantanamo Bay since the prisoner swap involving Bergdahl. Al Awda was held for nearly 13 years without any charge against him.

The Defense Department said it and the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, as well as the Director of National Intelligence, found that Al Awda no longer needed to be detained.

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