The Obama administration on Thursday quietly transferred 10 Yemeni detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to neighboring Oman – so quietly, in fact, that the news was first reported by state-run Middle East news agencies. And once the news got to Capitol Hill, it set off alarm bells given the host country’s proximity to Al Qaeda’s most active branch.
The transfer is the largest batch of detainees shipped out of the Cuba prison camp so far this year. It is part of a wave of transfers as the administration steps up efforts to shrink the prison population, with the ultimate goal of closing the facility despite congressional resistance.
Fox News reported earlier this week that the 10 detainees were slated for transfer, but the destination at the time was not known. The state-run Oman News Agency published a brief statement Thursday morning saying the detainees had arrived in Oman.