According to the United States Department of Defense, it held more than two hundred Afghan detainees in Guantanamo prior to May 15, 2006. They had been captured and classified as enemy combatants in warfare following the US and allies invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and disrupt terrorist networks. Originally the US held such prisoners in sites in Afghanistan, but needed a facility to detain them where they could be interrogated. It opened the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on January 11, 2002 and transported the enemy combatants there.
^ abcdCarol Rosenberg (2009-12-19). "Guantánamo detention census drops to 198". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-12-20. A Justice Department statement Sunday said those freed included a Yemeni surgeon who the Obama administration approved for release in March. Ayman Batarfi, 38, had echoed other Guantánamo detainee claims that he was a humanitarian worker at the time of his 2001 capture in Afghanistan, who admitted to treating al Qaeda wounded at the battle of Tora Bora while Osama bin Laden was in the area.