Omar Khadr, the last Western detainee held at the U. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, returned to his home country of Canada after 11 years in prison. Khadr was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15 after being wounded in a firefight with US soldiers. The youngest detainee held at Guantanamo, Khadr comes from what Canadian officials refer to as "the first family of terrorism." In 2012, he plead guilty to throwing a grenade and killing Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and was sentenced to eight years at Guantanamo. He spent a decade at the Guantanamo prison that was set up for suspected terrorists following the September 11th attack (Gillies). Khadr's predicament became a huge news story as groups argued over the valid definition of "child soldier," what role Canada should play in the instance where its citizens are arrested in a foreign country, and what laws dictate how detainees should be treated at Guantanamo (Paperny).
Khadr was eligible to return to Canada in October of 2011 under a plea deal, but Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government refused to request his return, largely because of the suspicions they harbor about Khadr's family and their involvement in terrorist matters. Khadr's father is allegedly believed to be an al-Qaeda financier (Gillies). .
"Omar Khadr is a known supporter of the al-Qaeda terrorist network and a convicted terrorist," said Toews (Gillies). .
The US Defense Department confirmed Khadr's transfer in a statement. Toews then confirmed that Khadr arrived at a Canadian military base on a US government plane and was immediately transferred to the Millhaven maximum security prison in Bath, Ontario (Gillies).
"His head is spinning a bit, and it's going to be a real adjustment for him, but at the same time he is so happy to be home," said John Norris, Khadr's lawyer. "He can't believe that it is finally true. He simply can't.