Guantánamo parole board clears Afghan; 54 captives now in transfer queue

The insignia of the Periodic Review Board bureaucracy at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo.
The insignia of the Periodic Review Board bureaucracy at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo.

The Guantánamo parole board has cleared for release an Afghan man who is considered “one of the most compliant detainees” at the detention center in Cuba.

Captive Mohammed Kamin, in his mid 30s, got the news by telephone at Guantánamo on Wednesday, according to attorney Shane Kadidal, who described the Afghan as buoyed by the news. “I sometimes dream of being free,” Kamin said, according to Kadidal. “Then I wake up in this facility, and I have a different feeling.”

The latest decision by the U.S. government Periodic Review Board meant 54 of the 114 captives at the U.S. detention center in Cuba are approved for release with security arrangements that satisfy the Pentagon.

Of the rest, 28 are now counted as Law of War detainees, or “forever prisoners.” Another 10 are in some form of military commissions proceedings. The remaining 12 were once considered to be candidates for war crimes trial, and are entitled to review by the parole board.

Kamin got to Guantánamo in September 2004, 16 months after his capture by Afghan authorities, and was charged with providing material support for terrorism in a military commissions case that was dropped in 2009. An intelligence profile highlighted his 2002 recruitment to the jihad in his native Afghanistan but described him as one of the U.S. military prison’s most agreeable captives, “most likely because the detention staff has treated him more humanely than he had expected.”

In a brief, unclassified release decision dated Sept. 28, the board said that there was no evidence Kamin held “extremist views” or “anti-American sentiments” at Guantánamo.

It credited Kamin’s “high degree of candor regarding his past activities and acknowledgement of mistakes that led to his detention.”

The board noted that “family and tribal support” await Kamin at home, in Khost Afghanistan, and he has a “strong desire” to return to his family.

Carol Rosenberg: 305-376-3179, @carolrosenberg