SANA’A – Guantanamo returnee Muhammad Al-Oufi, who had fled to Yemen after his release from a rehabilitation program of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, has surrendered and been returned to the Kingdom, security sources said.
Al-Oufi (ex-Gitmo prisoner No.333) gave himself up to Yemeni authorities at the border with Saudi Arabia, the sources said.
He was handed over to the Kingdom on Tuesday under a security agreement between the two countries, the sources said.
Al-Oufi, 35, was released from the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in 2007.
After his release from the ministry’s rehabilitation program he sneaked into Yemen.
Late last month, he surfaced in an Al-Qaeda video posted on the Internet.
The video identified Al-Oufi as field commander of Al-Qaeda He was shown alongside Sa’eed Al-Shihri, identified as deputy leader of Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Al-Oufi and Al-Shihri are among six ex-Gitmo Saudis who figure on the list of 85 wanted militants list released by the Saudi Ministry of Interior in early February.
An Interpol alert was subsequently issued for the 85 men, most of whom are aged between 20 and 35, and have reportedly left Saudi Arabia, probably for Iraq or Afghanistan as well.
It was the first time that the world police organization had issued a so-called “Orange notice” for such a large group of suspects, according to Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble.
In releasing the list of the 85 wanted men, the Ministry of Interior identified one of the militants, Saleh Al-Qaraawi, as the leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
The ministry statement on SPA said that after Saudi Arabia announced an amnesty on Aug. 4 last year, 15 Saudis “who were misled and realized their mistake” had come forward to surrender to the Saudi embassies and consulates abroad.
“There are still others who are still holding on to their sins and temptations,” the statement said. “They have made themselves tools in the hands of the enemies of the religion, and the nation has nothing to do with them and is apprehensive about what despicable acts these human devils might perpetrate against their people and nation.”
The statement called upon the wanted persons to “return to reason and wisdom” and surrender under the Aug. 4 amnesty offer, whereby their return to the country “would be secured and they would be reunited with their families” depending on the charges against them.
It said that Saudi society has realized “the reality of deviant thought” and the goals of “evil-doers who are waging a war against Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him).” – Okaz/ SG