SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
As the Obama administration pushes its delusional tale that Syrian rebels aren’t terrorists, a mainstream newspaper chain publishes a story about a former Guantanamo captive who died fighting the Bashar Assad regime as a member of an Islamic opposition group.
The ex-Guantanamo prisoner, Mohammed al Alami, was one of hundreds released from the U.S. military facility in southeastern Cuba during the Bush administration. He spent four years at Gitmo, admitted training with Al Qaeda and participating in an Afghan paramilitary camp where Osama bin Laden visited “to encourage and reinforce the trainee’s commitment to the cause of jihad.” Records cited in the article show that the U.S. Army general in charge of Gitmo at the time advised against releasing Alami.
Over the years a variety of intelligence and foreign news reports have revealed that, like Alami, many of the freed Gitmo prisoners have rejoined terrorist missions after leaving the military compound. One of them, Said Ali al-Shihri, became an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen who masterminded a U.S. Embassy bombing after being released. Dozens of others have returned to “the fight” after leaving Gitmo, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence.
The Department of Defense (DOD) supposedly keeps track of the released Gitmo captives, but the agency had no comment when asked about Alami and his role in the Syrian insurgency. That’s probably because, in its quest to make a case for U.S. military intervention, the Obama administration claims that a collection of secular moderates—that deserve U.S. backing—are leading the fight against the Syrian regime. Concerns about Al Qaeda jihadists running the rebel operations in Syria are unfounded, the administration assures.
To back this up the administration adopted the assessment of a 26-year-old Syria “expert” (Elizabeth O’Bagy), who convinced the president, secretary of state and some federal lawmakers that Syrian rebels are mostly moderates and not terrorists. It turns out that O’Bagy is also the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates for Syria’s rebels from Washington D.C. She recently got fired from a Washington D.C. think-tank that studies military affairs for lying about having a doctorate.
Getting back to Gitmo, the compound is still home to 164 prisoners including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and USS Cole bomber Bad al-Rahim al-Nassir. For years Judicial Watch traveled to Gitmo to monitor the Military Commission hearings of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, but a few weeks ago the Obama administration announced that only leftist human rights groups will get exclusive access to the proceedings.
Judicial Watch was the only right-of-center organization to regularly monitor Gitmo Military Commission proceedings and has sent representatives to Cuba 12 times since 2008. Under the new rules, the Obama administration is restricting access to five leftist groups—Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Bar Association—that openly advocate for the terrorist defendants. In fact, persons affiliated with the five groups have served as legal counsel or political advocates for the terrorist detainees held at Gitmo.
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