Allen B. West

Former GITMO detainee killed by drone strike in Afghanistan

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We continue to hear this drivel that GITMO is the best recruiting tool for the enemy. We’re told we need to shut GITMO down because it’s not reflective of our values. And please understand, I don’t care who has released unlawful enemy combatants from GITMO –it is wrong.

I’m sick of all these pundits who believe this is some game, some joke, and that these Islamic terrorists deserve legal rights. I don’t care what anyone says, these animals should be held until they die — and again, I agree with Senator Tom Cotton — rot in hell, or just rot in GITMO.

There has been no cessation of hostilities, so there is no “requirement” to repatriate these savage barbarians.

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And here’s a reminder for us of what is at stake, courtesy of the U.K. Guardian, “A senior militant and former Guantánamo Bay detainee who recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State has been killed in Afghanistan. A drone strike in Kajaki district, Helmand province, killed 33-year-old Mullah Abdul Rauf along with a small group of insurgents, according to a provincial police spokesman.”

“A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition declined to reveal names of the targets but confirmed that a precision strike on Monday had caused “the death of eight individuals threatening the force.”

“Rauf, an ex-Taliban commander, declared allegiance to Islamic State in January, and claimed to be recruiting fighters on behalf of the group, which is wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq. Rauf’s appropriation of the Islamic State banner had triggered rumors that the extremist group was gaining a foothold in Afghanistan. However, Rauf’s severance from the Taliban seems to be proof of a widening internecine struggle within the Afghan militant opposition.”

We recently reported on comments by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki that our forces would not be targeting Taliban members — after all they are just an “armed insurgency” and not Islamic terrorists. Then again, President Obama has said this whole terrorist thing is just overblown — actually we need to be concerned about climate change.

The Guardian says, “Rauf, also known as Abdul Rauf Aliza, had a long history of insurgency. He was detained by the US in 2001 and spent six years in Guantánamo, where he argued that he was nothing but a bread deliveryman for the Taliban. According to a document released by WikiLeaks, American interrogators suspected at the time that Rauf wielded more influence than he claimed. Nonetheless, convinced that he posed no serious threat, they released him to Afghanistan for further detention in 2007. In Kabul, Rauf managed to escape from house arrest – or was released, depending on the source – and in 2011 he acted as the Taliban’s shadow governor in Uruzgan province. Rauf later fell out with the Taliban leadership, seemingly over ideological differences.”

You just have to wonder, what ideological differences could he have with the Taliban? Beheading techniques?

Just so you understand, this is how it all began for Islamic State, in that they broke away from the al-Qaida-affiliated Al Nusra Front. It doesn’t matter what they call themselves, this new ‘brand” is all about greater and more savage violence.

The real concern we must begin to face — albeit I doubt it will happen on Obama’s watch — is that we are witnessing a global alliance forming of the most savage and brutal of Islamic terrorist/jihadist groups. There was a map recently published by the institute for the Study of War in Washington DC that displayed the growth of militant Islamism spreading from Nigeria – Maghreb – Sub-Saharan Africa – East Africa – Middle East – SW Asia – SE Asia – Philippines.

And if there is never a time to release any more combatants from GITMO it is now. Imagine this ladies and gents, just a year ago, Islamic State was just a jayvee team of about 3,000 fighters. Last fall its estimated strength and grown to be between 20,000 and 30,000. Now intelligence estimates put their strength at 50,000.

Also, there are reports that some 18,000-20,000 have been transiting from other countries to join Islamic State. I don’t think GITMO is a key recruitment tool for them. Rather it is the perception that Islamic State is powerful and standing up to the Western world. And let’s be honest, Jordan isn’t going to defeat Islamic State with just 57 combat air platforms. It is commendable that the UAE has rejoined the fight, but the last time I remember a war coming to an end because of air power, it was because two bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the European theater of operations, it was combat boots on the ground that closed in on Berlin.

Is Islamic State a growing threat in Afghanistan? No, I do not believe they are at this point, but could they be? Yes, if one day Mullah Omar goes onto another life and there’s a void of leadership, yes, somehow they could find a way to fill that void.

At some point we must see this enemy for who they are — militant Islamists — and identify their state sponsors: Qatar, Turkey, Iran. But we can ill afford to shut down GITMO as we have gotten down to the worst of the worst at this time. And we cannot afford to trade any more of these Islamic terrorists for deserters.

These are going to be two fateful years, because the enemy knows he has a pass and Obama and the progressive socialist left will find and make any excuse — “forcing ISIS to change tactics” is what Secretary of State Kerry said. That’s like a team pulling its starters because they’re blowing out the other team so bad.

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