[JURIST] A terror suspect believed to be associated with senior al Qaeda leaders and related terrorist groups in Afghanistan was transferred [press release] to Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] Friday. The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] says that Haroon al-Afghani has admitted to serving as a courier for al Qaeda leaders. DOD officials also say that there is evidence that he is a commander in Hezb-e-Islami/Gulbuddin (HIG) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], an Afghanistan-based militant group that has conducted improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in the country. He was transferred to Guantanamo because he is thought to possess some information about al Qaeda operations. DOD indicates that the International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] will have access to al-Afghani.
With his transfer, there are around 375 detainees at the prison. The transfer comes as the White House is allegedly considering closing the facility [JURIST report], although it denied [JURIST report] Friday that closure was imminent. Al-Afghani is one of a small number of detainees who have been transferred to the prison since September's transfer of 14 'high-value' suspects, who were previously held at secret CIA prisons [JURIST reports]. AFP has more.