WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, a terrorist sanctioned by the US Department of State on Wednesday, was released from the US military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prior to the facility implementing new screening regulations, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
"This Gitmo detainee was released by the previous administration prior to the new regime that President [Barack] Obama instituted on his second full day in office to more thoroughly screen detainees before their release," Earnest stated in a briefing on Thursday.
US officials repatriated Vakhitov and six other detainees to Russia in 2004.
US officials have stated they did not believe Vakhitov was a Taliban leader or affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group, according to reports.
However, the State Department said on Wednesday that Vakhitov was affiliated with the terrorist group Jaysh al-Muhajirin Wal Ansar that pledged allegiance to the Nusra Front in 2015.