(CN) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the release of an Algerian Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was accused of being a member of al-Qaida but denied having heard of the group until after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Farhi Saeed bin Mohammed, 48, lived in France, Italy and England in the 1990s before traveling to Jalalabad, Afghanistan a few months before the terrorist attacks.
He fled to Pakistan after the attacks but was picked up at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by U.S. forces and sent to Guantanamo in February 2002.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the government to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate petitioner’s release.”
Kessler’s opinion is still classified and is undergoing review.