(CN) – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the government to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee with family ties to Osama bin Laden.
Detained since 2002, Muhammed al-Adahi petitioned for his release in 2005. Four years earlier, he traveled with his sister to Afghanistan, where she was married to a suspected bodyguard for bin Laden. At their wedding celebration, held at bin Laden’s compound, al-Adahi was introduced to the terrorist mastermind.
A few days later, the two men had a five- to 10-minute conversation, in which bin Laden asked about the religious community in Yemen. Al-Adahi then underwent seven to 10 days of training at Al Faroug training camp, but was quickly expelled for disobeying the rules.
Evidence of his brief presence at the camp is not enough to detain him at the military prison in Cuba, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled.
The judge noted that al-Adahi never fought for al-Qaida. After he was thrown out from the camp, he went to his sister’s house and then tried to escape Afghanistan. It appears, Kessler wrote, that al-Adahi “accepted his expulsion and never attempted thereafter to become a member or supporter of al-Qaida, or to further its activities in any way.”
Though al-Adahi “readily acknowledged having met bin Laden on two occasions and admitted that perhaps his relatives were bodyguards and enthusiastic followers of bin Laden, such evidence – sensational and compelling as it may appear – does not constitute actual, reliable evidence that would justify the government’s detention of this man,” Kessler concluded.
She ordered the government to “facilitate Petitioner’s release, and to report back to the Court no later than September 18, 2009, as to the status of that release and what steps have been taken to secure that release.”