June 12, 2009 -- Three more detainees were transported from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay today, ABC News has learned.
Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair arrived in Saudi Arabia this evening.
Seven other detainees have left Guantanamo this week as part of the Obama administration's efforts to close the detainee center in Cuba. One was sent to New York to be tried for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings. One was sent to Chad and one to Iraq. Four Uighurs were sent to Bermuda, arousing the anger of officials from Great Britain, who are responsible for Bermuda's security and argue that they were not adequately consulted.
"They have expressed concerns to us, and we continue to talk to them about those concerns," said P.J. Crowley, assistant secretary of state.
Of the nine who have been freed, five of them -- the Uighurs and Mohammed El Gharani, transferred to his native Chad -- were ordered released by judges, citing lack of evidence against them.
Four were previously approved for release by the Bush administration, including Iraqi Jawad Jabbar Sadkhan and the three Saudis released today.
Even those supportive of President Obama's plan to close Guantanamo are confused about detainee policy being put into action.
"It's very hard to see or know what the basis of their decision-making is," said Sarah Mendelson, director of the Human Rights and Security Initiative, an international policy institution in Washington, D.C.. "There's not a lot of conversation with the American public."
The Uighurs were ordered freed and judged to not harbor anti-American sentiment.
By sending them to Bermuda and perhaps the obscure pacific nation of Palau, the White House is essentially conceding the United States will not absorb any detainees, because they were the likeliest candidates.
That complicates efforts to place detainees in European countries such as Germany.
"German policymakers, politicians and the public may say, 'Why should we help the United States if the U.S. isn't taking any of those that are released?'" Mendelson said.
Most Detainees Remain in Limbo
Germany wants more information, as does Congress. Members from both parties complain the administration does not have answers to questions such as what will happen if Ahmed Ghailani, an accused forger for al Qaeda, is found not guilty? Will he be transferred to his native Tanzania and freed?
"I'm not willing to get into playing hypothetical games," White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier this week. "I'm just not getting into the hypothetical back and forth of what happens on a case."
A judge may have cited insufficient evidence against five of the detainees released this week, on top of the four ordered released by the Bush administration, but only a handful of the 230 remaining at Guantanamo fit into that category.