Four Detainees Released, New Group Brought to Cuba
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2002 Defense officials announced today that four detainees were released from the U.S. holding facility at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Oct. 26, while another group of detainees arrived there today.
Citing operational security, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke gave no details on the newly arrived Guantanamo detainees.
Clarke confirmed four detainees were released because officials decided they "no longer posed a threat to U.S. security."
"The release was based on many factors, including law enforcement, intel, medical considerations, as well as whether the individual was considered to be a threat to the United States," Clarke said in a Pentagon news briefing.
Clarke said the detainees being released met with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. But she gave no further details of their countries of origin or destination, citing operational security and privacy concerns.
"Some of that is at the request of the detainees themselves," she said. "(The release) is being done in close cooperation with their native countries. Beyond that, we're not saying."
The last transfer of detainees to Guantanamo was in early August, when 34 detainees arrived. Clarke said today's transfer brings the total number of detainees at Guantanamo up to about 625.
"We're trying to stay with approximate numbers," she said.
She also noted it's likely there will be more detainees moved into Guantanamo and others released, but gave no details on who, how many or when.
In other news, Clarke identified an Air Force officer killed Oct. 25 when two F-16s collided during a training mission in Utah as 1st Lt. Jorma Huhtala.
The other pilot ejected safely. Huhtala was the son of U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia Maria Huhtala.
"Our condolences, of course, go out to the ambassador and her family over the loss of their son in service to the country," Clarke said.