The notorious US prison camp in Guantánamo has existed for almost 20 years.
President Biden now wants to deport remaining prisoners to their home countries if possible.
Washington - Around six months after taking office, US President Joe Biden's government has transferred a prisoner from the Guantánamo prison camp to his home country for the first time.
The Defense Department said that Abdul Latif Nasir was brought to Morocco because he no longer posed a threat to US national security. Morocco had given security guarantees and promised "humane treatment" for Nasir, it said. 39 prisoners remain in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
The camp was set up after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 under Republican President George W. Bush to detain suspected Islamist terrorists without trial. Bush's successor, Democrat Barack Obama, wanted to close it, but failed due to opposition in the US Congress. The Republican Donald Trump, in turn, wanted to keep the camp open. Now Obama's former Vice President, today's President Biden, is trying again to close the camp. The US government is relying on a "considered and thorough process" to "responsibly reduce the number of prisoners," said the State Department.
Nasir, who was transferred to Morocco, was directly affected by the political back-and-forth in the USA: a commission set up under Obama recommended his dismissal in 2016.
However, the necessary steps could no longer be taken before the change of government - and Trump strictly rejected dismissals from the camp.
The Pentagon did not provide any information on whether Nasir would remain detained in Morocco or be released.
The White House said that the authorities in Morocco were responsible for this.
The Foreign Ministry thanked Morocco for its willingness to accept Nasir and appealed to other countries to also accept their citizens who had fought for terrorist organizations abroad.
A senior representative of the White House said ten of the 39 remaining inmates in Guantánamo had already been recommended by the responsible commission for a transfer to their home countries. "The Biden government will use all diplomatic means necessary to facilitate the transfer of those detainees found to be qualified," said the official. The commission will also examine the status of 17 other detainees. Ten inmates will be tried by a military tribunal, two have already been convicted, the officer said.
The prison camp was built by the US government after the September 11, 2001 attacks on a military base in eastern Cuba to detain suspected terrorists.
The first prisoners were placed there in January 2002.
According to human rights organizations, many inmates were tortured.
A total of almost 800 prisoners were temporarily housed there.
For example, Mauritanian Mohamedou Ould Slahi was detained without charge for more than 14 years and was not released until 2016.
In his book "Guantánamo Diary" he describes systematic abuse, from torture and sleep deprivation to sexual assault and threats against family members.