VIDEO: What former Guantanamo detainee said upon arrival in Saudi Arabia
Jubran al-Qahtani is believed to be the 126th detainee to be released from Guantanamo, however seven Saudis nationals still remain in Cuba
A Saudi citizen who had been held in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay arrived back in the kingdom on Thursday, state news agency SPA reported.
Jubran bin Saad bin Waze' Al-Qahtani said in his first statement after his arrival: “I thank the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [King Salman] for bringing me back to the country,” adding that he was glad to be back home.
“As part of efforts to bring back Saudis detained outside the kingdom, by the grace of God almighty, the citizen Jubran bin Saad bin Waza al-Qahtani was returned from Guantanamo Bay and arrived in the kingdom on Thursday evening,” a statement quoting an interior ministry spokesman said.
Watch arrivle of Guantanamo Bay detainee
The security spokesman added that he will be subjected to the regulations in force in the kingdom, which include taking advantage of Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Advice and Care programs.
Qahtani is believed to be the 126th detainee to be released from Guantanamo. However seven Saudis nationals still remain held at the prison in Cuba.
Obama slams Congress
US President Barack Obama delivered an angry parting shot at Congress Thursday, berating Republicans for blocking his efforts to close the military prison facility at Guantanamo Bay.
The facility "never should have been opened in the first place" Obama said in a terse two-page letter. "There is simply no justification beyond politics for the Congress' insistence on keeping the facility open."
Obama struggled to find a solution to the vexed question of what to do with the forever detainees, and it is uncertain they could be convicted in a civilian court.
The outgoing president had tried to transfer many detainees abroad and bring the most high-value ones to the United States, but funding was blocked by Republicans and even some in his own Democratic party pushed back against closure plans.
Obama repeatedly said the controversial prison served as a "recruitment tool" for terrorist organizations and was a waste of money - it currently costs about $7 million per detainee a year.
Obama's successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has vowed not just to keep Guantanamo open, but to boost the number of terror suspects housed there - even raising the prospect of US citizens being sent to the facility.