U.S. Repatriates 10 Saudi Gitmo Detainees

Saudi Flag gitmo guantanmo detainees terrorism generic CBS/AP

The U.S. military has returned 10 Saudi detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to their home country, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

The transfer cuts the number of men now held at the isolated U.S. Naval station in southeast Cuba to about 275, a decline of nearly a third in the last year.

About 136 of the 759 people detained at Guantanamo since 2002 have been Saudi, the second-largest group after Afghans. The vast majority have been repatriated - despite the fact that more than 90 percent are still considered a terrorist threat.

The U.S. agreed to return the men with the understanding that Saudi Arabia will mitigate that risk, partly through a state program to reintegrate former detainees into civilian life, said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Defense Department spokesman.

Their detention has been a source of strain with Riyadh, a close U.S. ally.

"We will continue to work with the international community in our efforts to further reduce the population at Guantanamo, while at the same time taking prudent measures designed to protect the public," Gordon said.

Three Saudis have committed suicide inside the camp, which holds foreigners suspected of links to terrorism, al Qaeda and the Taliban.


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App