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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 736-04
August 02, 2004

Transfer of Five Moroccan Detainees Completed

The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred five detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the control of the government of Morocco. These detainees are Moroccan nationals.

The decision to transfer or release a detainee is based on many factors, including whether the detainee is of further intelligence value to the United States and whether he is believed to pose a continued threat to the United States if released.

There are ongoing processes to review the status of detainees. A determination about the continued detention or transfer of a detainee is based on the best information and evidence available at the time. The circumstances in which detainees are apprehended can be ambiguous, and many of them are highly skilled in concealing the truth. The process of evaluation and detention is not free of risk at least five detainees have gone back to the fight.

During the course of the war on terrorism, the department expects that there will be other transfers or releases of detainees. This transfer was not part of the recently announced Combatant Status Review Tribunal; it was coordinated prior to that announcement.

Because of operational and security considerations, no further details can be provided.

Previously, 129 detainees were transferred for release and 22 others were transferred to the control of other governments (seven to Russia, four to Saudi Arabia, one to Spain, one to Sweden, five to Great Britain and four to France). 156 detainees have now departed Guantanamo. As a result of todays transfer, there are now approximately 585 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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