The deportation of a Saudi man who pleaded guilty to planning a terrorist attack has been postponed indefinitely pending assurances from the Saudi authorities.
On Tuesday, CNN quoted Ramzi Qasim, lawyer of Ahmed Al-Darbi, a former member of Al-Qaeda, as saying that his client signed a plea deal in 2014 in which he admitted planning and committing a terrorist act and testified against two Guantanamo inmates in exchange for spending the remaining nine years of his sentence in Saudi Arabia. Al-Darbi was supposed to be deported to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Pentagon spokeswoman, Sarah Higgins said the US is still waiting for assurances from the Saudi government before moving forward with the deportation process.
A few weeks ago US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba open in a move that largely contradicts the policy of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Al-Darbi is one of 41 detainees still incarcerated at the controversial facility.
The opening of Istanbul’s third airport will result in a drop of passenger numbers for Middle East hub airports in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, according to industry experts.
The new airport, scheduled to open on 29 October, will be the largest in Europe, consisting of seven runways and, when fully completed, will have a capacity to handle 200 million passengers per year.
After its eventual completion the new airport is predicted to outstrip other mega airports such as Atlanta International Airport which handled 101 million in 2015 according to the Airport Council International.
The same dataset shows in 2015 Dubai International Airport handled 78 million passengers while Heathrow pushed through 75 million.
With the new airport Turkey will cement its position as the gateway between Europe and Asia, a reputation which UAE had tried to build for itself over the past decade through Dubai airport.
Transit flights through Istanbul’s existing two airports have already increased even before the new airport has opened with the numbers up 21 per cent in 2017. At the same time Dubai and Doha airports saw no rise in transit numbers while Abu Dhabi was down 14 per cent.
The $11.3 billion mega airport will be located about 22 miles outside the city, on the spacious northern end of the Istanbul’s European side. Along with its modern design, runways, terminals, air traffic control towers and technology, the new Istanbul airport will be equipped with the most advanced security.