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A Guantanamo Bay prisoner who published a diary about life there was released

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A former al-Qaida militant who published his diary about life at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was released Monday. 

Mohamedou Ould Slahi returned to Mauritania after nearly 14 years in detention. 


Ould Slahi will have to meet with anti-terror police before heading to his home, said Lemine Mohamed, the police chief of Nouakchott, Mauritania. 


The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed his transfer Monday. 

Ould Slahi, 46, had been held without charges since 2002 and was finally approved for release from the center on July 14 of this year. 

He gained fame for his "Guantanamo Diary," which detailed his life in captivity. It included several accounts of harsh interrogations at the detention center. 

Ould Slahi's memoir quickly became a best-seller after it was published in January of 2015. The memoir also prompted human rights groups to call for his release and the detention center's closure.

As for Ould Slahi's past, U.S. officials said in the early 1990s he traveled from Germany to Afghanistan to fight with Islamic rebels against the communist government, which was supported by the Soviet Union. 

He went on to swear allegiance to al-Qaida and was in close contact with two of the Sept. 11 hijackers. 

Ould Slahi was detained in his home country in November of 2001 and questioned by FBI agents about several bomb plots. 

He was later sent to a prison in Jordan and then to a U.S. base in Afghanistan before ending up at Guantanamo. 

Now, since his release, only 60 detainees remain at the U.S. detention center. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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