JUNE 06, 2014
Days after President Obama released five of the world’s most dangerous terrorists from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo, two alarming reports—one from a mainstream newspaper and the other from a prominent research group—provide distressing information that confirms it was a really bad idea.
The president blew off Congress and freed five high-ranking Taliban leaders held at the U.S. Naval base in southeastern Cuba in exchange for the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The secret plot shocked the world and U.S. lawmakers because every American president, including Obama, has vowed never to negotiate with terrorists. Additionally, Congress must be alerted 30 days in advance whenever a captive is released from Gitmo.
Here’s a little background on the freed terrorists from a U.S. Senator who wants the Senate Armed Services Committee to conduct a hearing. “The five terrorists released were the hardest of the hard-core,” Senator Lindsey Graham tells the committee chairman in a letter requesting the hearing. “They held positions of great importance within the hard-core anti-American Taliban, including the Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. They have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight. In effect, we released the “Taliban Dream Team.” The United States is less safe because of these actions.”
The Five Taliban leaders are expected to relocate in Afghanistan, a hotbed of terrorism and anti-American sentiment. In fact, there is a growing terrorist threat to the United States from a rising number of jihadist groups overseas, according to a ghastly study published by the RAND Corporation this week. Afghanistan is one of them, the study reveals. Since 2010, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups, a doubling of jihadist fighters and a tripling of attacks by Al Qaeda affiliates. The most significant threat to the United States, the report concludes, comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistanand Pakistan.
Surely, they’ll be thrilled to have five more experienced jihadists on their roster. Even President Obama admits that releasing these extremists could put Americans in danger, according to news reports. “Is there a possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely,” the commander-in-chief told a news conference in Warsaw this week. He proceeded to admit that this has been true of all the prisoners that were released from Gitmo. “There’s a certain recidivism rate that takes place.” Indeed, a Taliban commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Salem Khan, confirmed that his recently freed comrades are already bracing for battle.
Recidivism among terrorists is old news. In fact, Judicial Watch, which has traveled to Gitmo multiple times to monitor the terrorists’ Military Commission proceedings, has reported this for years. The Pentagon and various intelligence agencies have documented that many Gitmo captives rejoin terrorist missions after leaving the military compound. In a report to Congress a few years ago, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) revealed that of 598 detainees released up to that point, 150 were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.”
In fact, a one-time Gitmo captive became an Al Qaeda chief who masterminded a U.S. Embassy bombing after getting released, according to a mainstream newspaper. His name is Said Ali al-Shihri and after leaving Gitmo he became an Al Qaeda deputy chief in Yemen and he organized a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital. The former captive was also involved in car bombings outside the American Embassy that killed 16 people. That was about five years ago and the recidivism among former Gitmo captives is still in full force today.
That brings us to the mainstream newspaper story mentioned earlier in this piece. It focuses on three hardened Moroccan militants released from Gitmo to the Moroccan government under the assumption that they wouldn’t commit terrorist acts. Instead they wound up leading one of the most violent Islamist groups fighting in Syria’s civil war. This is hardly an isolated case. The article cites recent DNI figures that confirm 29% of 614 detainees released from Gitmo have returned to violence.
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