Last updated: 01:15 PM ET, Tue July 05 2016

Missing Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Causes South American Airline Alert

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | July 05, 2016

Missing Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Causes South American Airline Alert

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South America’s Avianca Airlines issued an internal memo to employees to keep a lookout for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has moved to Uruguay after he was freed by the United States.

According to The Associated Press, the whereabouts of Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab are unknown, as Uruguayan authorities believe he has been in Brazil visiting the country, but Brazilian officials have no record of him entering the nation.

Avianca Airlines reportedly told employees to be on the lookout for Dhiab, as he may now be using a fake passport. Former Uruguayan deputy foreign minister Belela Herrera said that Dhiab was never charged for any terrorism-related crimes and was cleared for release by the U.S. government.

Dhiab reportedly told friends that he planned on staying in the Uruguay-Brazil border region during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as the region has a large Muslim community with several mosques.

As a humanitarian gesture, former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica allowed Dhiab and five other former Guantanamo detainees to live in the country, but they began to complain about their treatment and the fact that they would have to get jobs.

Uruguayan media reported several weeks ago that Dhiab had left the country, but government officials insisted he was permitted to travel to other countries and had not broken any law. The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay announced that American authorities were working with officials from Brazil and Uruguay to locate Dhiab.


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