By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is lifting his self-imposed ban on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen in his renewed effort to close the prison.
Obama suspend transfers there in January 2010 after a would-be bomber attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound flight on instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.
The change in policy comes since a new president has taken over and improved security in the Arab nation. But al-Qaida is still active in Yemen, and there have been instances of former detainees returning to jihad there.
Lifting the ban is a step toward Obama's goal of closing the Navy-run prison in Cuba, since nearly 100 of the 166 detainees are from Yemen.
Obama announced he was lifting the ban in a speech Thursday at National Defense University.
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