The Pentagon was preparing Monday to send Osama bin Laden's driver back to his native Yemen, a full month before the end of his prison sentence at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Word first surfaced Monday morning on Yemen's government news service, which quoted ''well-informed sources'' from the capital, Sana'a, as reporting that Salim Hamdan's extradition was "in the coming few days.''
By Monday night, military sources were confirming that the repatriation was likely to occur this week under a deal that would have Hamdan serve his final month in Yemeni detention.
The apparent decision to send Hamdan back to Yemen resolves questions about whether the United States would release him after his sentence was completed. A six-member military jury convicted Hamdan, 40, of providing material support for terror in August, but handed prosecutors a defeat by sentencing him to 66 months in prison, with credit for time served. That made his release date Dec. 27.
Pentagon sources said that Hamdan was still at the remote U.S. Navy base in southeastern Cuba Monday night.