An accused Al-Qaeda bomb maker currently incarcerated in the Guantanamo Bay military prison told US officials he suspected that an unnamed Saudi royal was involved in recruiting him to terrorism, according to The San Diego Union Tribune.
Ghassan Abdallah al-Sharbi told a review board that he had met with a religious figure that had a telephone conversation with a man he addressed as “your highness” before urging al-Sharbi to return to the U.S. and take part in a terror plot involving a plane.
The unnamed Saudi royal could be any one of thousands of princes in the vast House of Saud.
This conversation reportedly took place in early 2001, after al-Sharbi had returned to Saudi Arabia from Phoenix, Arizona where he had taken flight courses with two men who later went on to be among the 9/11 hijackers.
Al-Sharbi told the story in a statement recorded by the Periodic Review Board, which assesses whether detainees at the controversial facility are eligible for release. The board includes representatives from six different U.S. government agencies.
Al-Sharbi’s statement was posted to the Periodic Review Board website, with some sections redacted. He also spoke about his medical issues in the statement, which were causing him some distress.
On Wednesday, the US government announced that two detainees who were released from Guantanamo Bay in the first six months of 2016 have since returned to fighting for militant groups.
Some 113 out of the 532 detainees released under the administration of George W. Bush returned to fighting, while nine of those released under Obama since 2009, 5.6%, have returned to fighting, according to figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as reported by Zee News.
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