Monday, May 29, 2017

Guantanamo Bay

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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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Taliban Terrorist

In the frantic effort to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo the Obama administration keeps freeing the world’s most dangerous terrorists, this month a Taliban soldier who served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard. The Yemeni, Majid Mahmud Abdu Ahmed, will be released to an Arabic-speaking country with “appropriate security assurances” and “reintegration support,” according to the Periodic Review Board (PRB) created by the president to clear out the compound at the U.S. military base in southeast Cuba.

“The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee is no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States,” the board’s Unclassified Summary of Final Determination states. “In making this determination, the Board noted the detainee’s relative candor in discussing his time in Afghanistan, acceptance of the mistakes he made, and a credible desire to not repeat those mistakes. Further, the board considered the detainee’s age when he went to Afghanistan and having matured since entering detention, the detainee’s compliance while in detention at Guantanamo, and that the detainee has taken opportunities to educate himself while at Guantanamo.”

Ahmed’s Department of Defense (DOD) profile says that he’s a high risk detainee likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies and that he’s of high intelligence value. “Detainee is a member of al-Qaida and a bodyguard for Usama Bin Laden (UBL),” the DOD profile says. “Detainee participated in armed hostilities against US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan and admitted fighting for the Taliban on the front lines against the Northern Alliance for two years. Detainee was captured with a group referred to as the Dirty 30 which included UBL bodyguards and a 20th 11 September 2001 hijacker while escaping hostilities during Operation Enduring Freedom.” The profile further says that Ahmed’s comments about America, Bin laden and his willingness to die for jihad indicate he will pose a significant threat if released. Ahmed was captured by Pakistani forces while attempting to cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border near Parachinar after fleeing to UBL’s Tora Bora Mountain complex, according to the DOD.

Ahmed’s pending release makes him the 35th terrorist that Obama’s PRB has recently approved for transfer to a foreign country. The compound still holds 91 of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Al-Qaeda terrorist charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. Last fall Defense Secretary Ashton Carter proclaimed that around half of the Gitmo detainees need to be locked up “indefinitely” even as his boss works to shut down the facility. The administration has considered relocating the captives to military facilities in the U.S., including Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas and the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. This has ignited outrage among officials in both states.

In the meantime, Obama’s PRB is on a parole frenzy releasing even some of the most wanted terrorists it had previously refused to discharge. Judicial Watchreported on one of the unbelievable cases over the summer. It involves a senior Al Qaeda operative and bin Laden advisor who had been denied parole by the PRB before the board did an about-face. The Kuwaiti national, Faez Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari, had been a prisoner at Gitmo since 2002, has a history of participating in violent militant Islamic activities, poses a high-risk threat to the United States, has numerous connections to senior Al Qaeda members and was an influential religious figure for Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. Al-Kandari also provided ideological training at the al-Faruq camp and the Islamic Institute in Kandahar and served as a propagandist who produced and distributed multimedia recruitment material and wrote newspaper articles paying tribute to the 9/11 hijackers.

Nevertheless, in July the PRB granted al-Kandari another parole hearing which Judicial Watch covered live via circuit television from a DOD facility in Crystal City, Virginia. High-level sheikhs from Kuwait’s government were present, reportedly to negotiate al-Kandari’s release. They included multiple diplomats, members of the government-run wire service Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), and the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, all advocating for al-Kandari’s release. Al-Kandari was the last Kuwaiti prisoner at Gitmo and Middle Eastern news agencies had reported on the Arab nation’s mission to bring him home. In fact, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah traveled to Washington to push for al-Kandari’s release shortly before Obama caved into the request.


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Republicans are getting quite an “I told you so” moment—because one of the dangerous terrorists that Obama released from Guantanamo Bay is now the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the Long War Journal, which first broke the story last week, former Guantanamo Bay inmate Ibrahim Qosi has been quite active in terrorism circles since he was released by Obama in 2012:

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani.”

“In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.”

“Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled ‘Guardians of Sharia.’”

Qosi was first captured in 2001, and spent nearly thirteen years in U.S. military custody at Guantanamo Bay.

His 2010 guilty plea was instrumental in getting him out of prison, and back on the battle field—in part because of President Barack Obama’s ambitions to shut down the infamous terrorist prison.

At the time, Qosi was being released into a Sudanese “re-integration program” that the Obama White House believed would keep him from slipping back into terrorism.

“One of the main reasons the United States was willing to return him to [his native] Sudan was the U.S. confidence in the government of Sudan’s program and its confidence that Mr. al-Qosi would not represent any kind of threat to the United States.” said Qosi’s lawyer. “If they had considered him a threat, they would not have released him.”

Now, he’s following directly in Osama bin Laden’s footsteps—and leading the influential and lethal terrorist group.

Worse, Qosi may not be the last terrorist to “re-offend.” Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, is considering the release of as many as 17 terrorists from Guantanamo Bay—and it’s likely that they could all take up arms against the United States, as soon as their allowed.


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