Two Pakistani brothers who had been held in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay for nearly two decades have been released without charge.
In 2002, Abdul and Mohammed Ahmed Rabbani were arrested in Pakistan.
According to the Pentagon, Abdul Rabbani ran an al-Qaeda safe house, while his brother arranged travel and funds for the group’s leaders.
Before being transferred to Guantanamo, the brothers claimed they were tortured by CIA officers.
Both have been returned to Pakistan.
Following the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, then-President George W Bush established the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba in 2002 to house foreign terrorism suspects. It is housed on a US Navy base.
However, the camp has come to represent some of the excesses of the “war on terror” as a result of interrogation methods that critics say amount to torture and detainees being held for extended periods without trial.
US President Joe Biden says he hopes to close the facility, which still houses 32 people. At its peak in 2003, the facility housed 680 inmates.
“The United States appreciates the Government of Pakistan’s and other partners’ willingness to support ongoing US efforts focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and eventually closing the Guantanamo Bay facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
In September 2002, the brothers were apprehended by Pakistani security forces in Karachi. They were transferred to Guantanamo after being held at a CIA detention facility in Afghanistan for nearly two years.
Ahmed Rabbani began a seven-year-long hunger strike in 2013. He survived on nutritional supplements, which were sometimes forced fed to him through a tube.