I love a happy ending.
(LWJ) — The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) announced on Saturday that a “combined Afghan and coalition security force” had killed “a key affiliate of the al Qaeda network during a security operation in Jalalabad district, Nangarhar province.” The deceased “insurgent leader” has been identified as a a former Guantanamo detainee named Sabar Lal Melma.
Melma was “responsible for attacks and financing insurgent operations in the Pech district, Kunar province” and was “in contact with several senior al Qaeda members throughout Kunar and Pakistan,” according to an ISAF press release.
Afghan citizens helped security forces locate Melma, who emerged from his compound “with an AK-47 rifle and was killed.”
Melma was transferred to Afghanistan on Sept. 28, 2007. According to a leaked threat assessment, Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) identified Melma as a “medium risk,” who “may pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.”
In the leaked file, dated June 3, 2005, JTF-GTMO recommended that Melma be “transferred to the control of another country for continued detention.” JTF-GTMO previously recommended that Melma be retained in US custody. Like many former Guantanamo detainees approved for transfer to Afghanistan, however, Melma was released at some point after his repatriation.
ISAF reports that Melma is one of “more than 40 al Qaeda insurgents” killed or captured in eastern Afghanistan this year.