Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2023. 7:48 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: While no longer a wanted man, 42-year-old Majid Khan still has eyes on him, according to Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa.
Since his arrival in Belize on February 2 from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he had been held for 20 years on a conviction for terrorism-related charges and tortured by American officials, Khan has been holed up at a residence bought and paid for by Washington, which convinced Belmopan to take him in after a lengthy review process.
Musa said Belize has a monitoring procedure with regard to threats against Khan as well as what he is doing as he settles in: “If we get any information to that effect then certainly we will put things in place, but we have not gotten that type of intelligence at all. Of course, there is a monitoring procedure – which I will not get into – but there is a monitoring procedure that is in place by our Department.”
The Minister said he would have “no problem” meeting Khan, but has not yet done so. When he does, he will see a man marked, but stronger for it: “I think that Mister Khan went through a lot, and certainly what he’s accused of is not what other terrorists have been accused of, but [he was] somehow involved in the transportation of proceeds, that sort of thing. But what he went through at Guantanamo Bay will certainly change an individual, but I think he has gone through a lot of deradicalization and rehabilitation, and I think that where he is mentally based on the assessments we have received, that it will not be an issue.”
But Belizeans continue to have misgivings which Musa acknowledged: “What I can say to reassure the Belizean people is that we went through a very thorough vetting process, a very thorough screening and due diligence,” which included Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay, and a team of representatives of the National Security Council, Ministry of Home Affairs and the medical community to review the three persons the U.S. initially asked Belize to resettle, two of whom were rejected.
Khan, the man they selected, meanwhile has reportedly asked for initial privacy as he gets used to his new surroundings and works to bring his family from his native Pakistan.
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