FEBRUARY 26, 2014
President Obama is on a roll freeing of Guantanamo inmates to meet his deranged goal of closing the U.S. military prison in southeastern Cuba, but this week the mission got slammed with damaging evidence that confirms it’s a really bad and dangerous idea.
From the time the first Islamic jihadists were brought to Gitmo more than a decade ago, the intelligence community and the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed the compound would house the world’s most dangerous terrorists. The masterminds of 9/11—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi—are incarcerated there and so is USS Cole bomber Bad al-Rahim al-Nassir as well as a number of top Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives.
In fact, this week international and domestic media outlets reported that the Taliban has been negotiating with the U.S. to exchange an Army soldier (Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl), captured by the terrorist group in Afghanistan in 2009, for five senior Taliban prisoners at Gitmo. This helps illustrate the type of inmate being held at the facility, which is down to 155 prisoners from a high of 779 when the compound opened in 2002.
On the heels of that distressing “mediation” with extremists, authorities in England confirmed this week that a former Gitmo captive named Moazzam Begg was arrested on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses. Begg attended a terrorism training camp and facilitated terrorism overseas, according to authorities cited in a British newspaper. The U.S. held Begg at the Bagram detention center in Afghanistan after arresting him in Pakistan. He was eventually transferred to Gitmo, where he remained for three years before getting released.
This is one of numerous cases in which Gitmo prisoners rejoin terrorist causes after being released. A number of intelligence and Pentagon reports have documented this over the years and just a few months ago we saw yet another example. A former Gitmo captive died fighting the Bashar Assad regime in Syria as a member of an Islamic opposition group. His name was Mohammed al Alami and during his four years at Gitmo he 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.”
Another one-time Gitmo prisoner, 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 also returned to “the fight” after leaving the military compound, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence. A few years ago President Obama’s National Intelligence Director confirmed that one in four Gitmo inmates resume terrorist activities against the United States after being released. At the time 150 were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer,” the intel agency revealed to Congress.
Nevertheless President Obama is determined to close Gitmo because it’s the only way to return America to the “moral high ground.” Closing the facility will “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism,” according to the commander-in-chief.
Judicial Watch is the only right-of-center organization to regularly monitor Gitmo Military Commission proceedings and has sent representatives to the U.S. Naval base in Cuba more than a dozen times since 2008. In the last few years JW representatives have been present for the commission proceedings of USS Cole bomber al-Nashiri, KSM, the 9/11 architect, and his cohorts, among others. On each occasion JW has witnessed a deep commitment to justice by military lawyers as well as the civilian attorneys provided to the terrorist suspects at American taxpayer expense.
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