July 11, 2012 -- A Guantanamo detainee described as Osama bin Laden's one-time driver and bodyguard has been transferred to Sudan after having served a two year sentence following a guilty plea before a military commission.
At a military commission two years ago, Ibrahim al-Qosi pleaded guilty to conspiracy and supporting terrorism. Charge sheets described him as having variously served as bin Laden's driver, bodyguard, cook and supplier. Qosi had followed bin Laden to Afghanistan in 1996, and was with him in Tora Bora in December 2001 after the U.S. invasion.
Under the plea agreement was sentenced to 14 years of confinement, however, most of that sentence was suspended for having cooperated with prosecutors. Factoring in the eight years he had already served at Guantanamo his sentence was reduced to two years.
Al Qosi's transfer comes at the conclusion of that two-year term. His transfer marks the first time that a detainee convicted under the revised military commissions process instituted by the Obama administration has been transferred to his home country.
The Associated Press reports that al-Qosi arrived in Sudan's capital of Khartoum aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 military transport plane. A photograph shows him stepping off the aircraft wearing a khaki-colored uniform and then bending down to kiss the ground.
A Pentagon statement said the United States had coordinated with Sudan's government regarding "appropriate security and humane treatment measures" for al-Qosi. The release added, "In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer al-Qosi to Sudan."
Qosi had been in detention at Guantanamo. He was captured in December 2001 by the Pakistani military after he had fled Afghanistan.
There are now 168 detainees still at Guantanamo. The last detainee transfer occurred on April 19, when two Uighurs were sent to El Salvador. Before then, no transfers had taken place since January 6, 2011 when a detainee was sent to Algeria.