A federal judge has ordered a Yemeni detainee released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the government relied too heavily on problematic witnesses to make its case that he was a terrorist.
In a 45-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said the government failed to prove that Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, 25, supported the Taliban or al-Qaeda. He was arrested in Pakistan and has been held at the Guantanamo Bay prison since 2002.
She ordered the government to enter into diplomatic negotiations to release Ahmed, though it is unclear whether that will work. The United States has hesitated to send Yemenis back to their home country because of its instability.
Most of the evidence against Ahmed was classified, and the Justice Department has not released a public version of its allegations.
In her heavily redacted opinion, Kessler wrote that the government presented a "mosaic" of evidence to back up allegations that Ahmed fought in Afghanistan, received military-style training there, traveled the country with fighters and stayed at a guesthouse in Pakistan with terrorists.