Saturday, December 10, 2016

Gitmo

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gitmo

As President Obama scrambles to release captives from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba his own intelligence advisers reveal that a growing number of inmates freed from the compound reengage in terrorism.

This is nothing new and in fact, has been documented over the years in various government assessments but this latest information comes in the midst of a frenzy to clear out the maximum security facility in order to realize the president’s longtime dream of closing it.

A new report released this month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) shows that of the 161 Gitmo detainees released by the Obama administration, nine are confirmed to be “directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.”

The ODNI, the broad agency that serve as an umbrella for the intelligence community and advises the president, also writes that 113 of the 532 Gitmo captives released during the George W. Bush administration have engaged in terrorist activities. This demonstrates that recidivism among this demographic is hardly earth-shattering news yet the administration keeps releasing more and more captives from the facility at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba.

The ODNI further reveals that at least two prisoners released from Gitmo by Obama and two others released by Bush have returned to “terrorist activities” during the first half of this year alone. “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” according to the ODNI, which is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The agency also stated in its report that “former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and previous associates who are members of terrorist organizations. The reasons for communication span from the mundane (reminiscing about shared experiences) to the nefarious (planning terrorist operations). We assess that some GTMO detainees transferred in the future also will communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations.”

Various government agencies have been documenting this for years. Back in 2009 the Department of Defense (DOD) reported a rise in the number of Gitmo detainees who rejoined terrorist missions after being released. At the time the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence, disclosed that the number of Gitmo prisoners that returned to “the fight” since their release from custody nearly doubled in a short time from 37 to 61.

The agency used data such as fingerprints, pictures and other intelligence reports to confirm the high rate of recidivism among released prisoners. By then around 500 had been transferred to other countries though defense officials maintained that most should never have been released because they pose a serious threat to the United States.

A perfect example is an Al Qaeda operative who was put on a global terrorist list a few years after the U.S. released him from Gitmo. Embarrassingly enough, the U.S. government even offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts. The Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, was repatriated back home under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead has served as a training camp for future terrorists.

In fact, in 2008 counterterrorism officials confirmed that many of the terrorists who return to “the fight” after being released from U.S. custody actually graduated from the laughable Saudi rehab program, which started under Bush and continued under Obama.

In an effort to stop Obama from releasing more terrorists, a congresswoman from Indiana recently introduced legislation that would temporarily halt the transfer of Gitmo detainees. The House passed the measure last week by a 244-174 vote but it’s highly unlikely to get approved by the Senate, and even if it does, Obama will most certainly veto it. The lawmaker behind the bill, Jackie Walorski, said the president’s plan to close Gitmo is “reckless” and “puts American lives at risk.”

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Terror Skype

In the latest of many fringe benefits extended to the world’s most dangerous terrorists the Obama administration is allowing Guantanamo Bay prisoners—including a senior Al Qaeda operative—to speak with family via video chats similar to Skype.

The captives are “high-value” detainees locked up in a special top-security wing of the military compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba. Two of the terrorists recently had video conferences with family for the first time since their incarceration, according to a Spanish news agency that identifies them as Abu Faraj al Libi and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri. Al Libi was the former No. 3 Al Qaeda leader, captured in 2005. His Department of Defense file says he’s a high risk prisoner of high intelligence value who served as the operational chief of Al Qaeda and had long term associations with Osama bin Laden.

Al Nashiri, also an Al Qaeda operative, is charged with orchestrating the deadly bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000.The USS Cole was the target of a suicide attack while the warship was moored and being refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed and dozens were injured. The blast occurred when a skiff laden with explosives detonated against the port-side hull of the USS Cole and tore a 40-by-40-foot hole in the side of the stricken ship. It was the deadliest attack against a U.S. Naval vessel since the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark in May 1987 and bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist organization claimed responsibility. Al Nashiri’s DOD file describes him as one of Al Qaeda’s most skilled, capable and prolific operational coordinators.

The two high-profile captives and their fellow terrorists will be allowed to have regular video chats with family, according to a Pentagon spokesman cited in the article. “We have concluded that increasing family contact for the High Value Detainees can be done in a manner that is consistent with both humanitarian and security interests,” said the spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Myles Caggins III. The Lieutenant Colonel pretty much confirmed that these types of perks will be commonplace for the terrorists at Gitmo. “We continually seek to go beyond a minimalist approach to humane treatment, and we endeavor to enhance conditions, consistent with security concerns,” Caggins added.

Since Obama moved into the White House privileges have vastly expanded for the terrorists incarcerated at Gitmo. In 2009 Judicial Watch, which has regularly traveled to Gitmo to cover the terrorists’ military trials, reported that U.S. taxpayers bought the captives high-tech laptops and computer lessons. That brilliant idea is part of a plan to reintroduce the prisoners into a modern society when the president fulfills his campaign promise of releasing them. They have been taught to send electronic mail and have received language and basic user skills training to help them find jobs when the leave the military prison.

Last year was an especially good one for terrorist rights at Gitmo. The administration actually let 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) dispatch propaganda from his Gitmo jail cell, undoubtedly aiding and abetting more terrorism. The manifesto, authored by the enemy combatant who’s admitted being the architect of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, was 36 pages long and received extensive media coverage worldwide. KSM has boasted of waging jihad against the U.S. and other non-Muslim nations and his Pentagon file reveals he’s a senior Al Qaeda recruiter financier and operational planner for the group’s global terrorist network. The document confirms that KSM was the “mastermind of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the hijacking of United Airlines flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.”

In 2014 the Obama administration also allowed a fighter (Moath al-Alwi) in bin Laden’s 55th Arab Brigade to publish a sob letter in an international media outlet describing the “humiliating and brutal treatments” he suffers at the U.S. military compound. Al-Alwi is a Yemeni national who served as bin Laden’s bodyguard and is described by the Pentagon as a veteran jihadist and fighter. Authorities at the prison also let the captives operate a “Business School Behind Bars” with an accused Al Qaeda financier as the self-appointed “dean of students.” Among the brilliant plans the jailed Islamic militants have come up with is a utopian, self-sufficient milk and honey farm in their native Yemen. It features a community with 200 families, 100 farmhouses, farm animals and computers.

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Gitmo to ISIS

As President Obama frees droves of terrorists—including five Yemenis this week—from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo news reports confirm that a Gitmo alum who once led a Taliban unit has established the first Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) base in Afghanistan.

His name is Mullah Abdul Rauf and international and domestic media reports say he’s operating in Helmand province, actively recruiting fighters for ISIS. Citing local sources, a British newspaper writes that Rauf set up a base and is offering good wages to anyone willing to fight for the Islamic State. Rauf was a corps commander during the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule of Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports. After getting captured by U.S. forces, he was sent to Gitmo in southeast Cuba but was released in 2007.

Rauf’s Department of Defense Joint Task Force Guantanamo file describes him as being closely associated with several senior level Taliban commanders and leaders. It also says that Rauf admitted involvement in the production and sales of opium as well as associations with criminal elements within the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. From the file: “Due to recent findings that detainee may have had a more important role within the Taliban than previously thought detainee’s intelligence value has been updated from low to medium due to his possible knowledge of: (1) Taliban leadership, (2) Taliban command and control.”

Rauf is one of a number of Gitmo terrorists who have returned to the fight after getting released, yet Obama continues freeing captives to keep his campaign promise of closing the prison. Just this week he let four Yemenis go, despite the risk that they will likely join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based terror group that claimed responsibility for last week’s attack in France. In fact, dozens of freed Gitmo detainees have rejoined Al Qaeda in Yemen, the country where the 2009 Christmas Day airline bomber proudly trained. In 2010 Judicial Watch reported that a number of high-ranking Al Qaeda militants in Yemen—once held at Gitmo—may have been involved in a sophisticated scheme to send bombs on a U.S.-bound cargo plane.

Just a few weeks ago JW uncovered an embarrassing gaffe involving an Al Qaeda operative liberated from Gitmo years ago. Turns out the U.S. government has now put him on a global terrorist list and offered $5 million for information on his whereabouts! That disturbing news came during a week when Obama freed four more longtime Gitmo captives to Afghanistan. Shutting the compound down will be tough because it still houses about 120 of the world’s most dangerous jihadists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Since the Guantanamo military tribunals commenced in 2008, JW has traveled regularly to the Naval base in Cuba to monitor and report them to the public. Over the last few years JW has covered various hearings and proceedings involving al-Nashiri, KSM, Binalshibh, Ali, and Hawsawi. Each time JW representatives have witnessed a deep commitment to justice by military lawyers and judges as well as the topnotch civilian attorneys (financed by American taxpayers) vigorously defending every one of the terrorists being tried.

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Ibrahim al-Rubaysh

Years after liberating an Al Qaeda operative from the military prison at Guantanamo, the United States government has put him on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

The unbelievable story comes as President Obama frees more and more terrorists—including four to Afghanistan over the weekend— long held in the military compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeastern Cuba. The president’s goal is to close the prison, a campaign promise that dates back to 2008, by relocating the last of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. Still left at the facility are 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists have been discharged over the years under a program that started with President George W. Bush and continued full-throttle with this administration. Intelligence report after intelligence report has revealed that many rejoin terrorist missions after leaving the military prison. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we learn that the U.S. government is secretly admitting that it erred in at least one case, the release of a Saudi national named Ibrahim al-Rubaysh. In late 2006 the Bush administration repatriated him back home under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead has served as a training camp for future terrorists. In fact, in 2008 counterterrorism officials confirmed that many of the terrorists who return to “the fight” after being released from U.S. custody actually graduated from the laughable Saudi rehab program, which started under Bush and continued under Obama.

It turns out that al-Rubaysh is the poster child for the Saudi rehab’s failures. He’s a dangerous Al Qaeda operative based in Yemen and now, years after freeing him, the United States wants him captured. This month the State Department coined the “senior leader” of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. “He serves as a senior advisor for AQAP operational planning and is involved in the planning of attacks,” a State Department announcement says. “He has served as a senior AQAP sharia official since 2013, and as a senior AQAP sharia official, al-Rubaysh provides the justification for attacks conducted by AQAP.  In addition, he has made public statements, including one in August 2014 where he called on Muslims to wage war against the United States.”

The U.S. government has also offered a $5 million reward for information that could lead to al-Rubaysh’s capture. The prize is part of a $45 million pot offered by the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program involving eight key AQAP leaders, among them al-Rubaysh. Information on some of al-Rubaysh’s buddies could net informants $10 million, but he’s only worth half that, according to the U.S. government. The bottom line remains; The U.S. had him and let him go. Now it’s offering a chunk of change for his capture. Uncle Sam has paid out over $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. The reward program appears to be the government’s best hope of capturing this terrorist it once held.

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