Obama’s desire to close Guantanamo Bay was something that never made even the slightest amount of sense to many (me included). Obama campaigned on closing the facility, and while he hasn’t shut it down outright, he has cleared out the prison quite a bit.
During his administration, he’s had 177 detainees transferred, repatriated, or resettled. That’s in stark contrast to the just one detainee who was transferred to the U.S. for prosecution, and four who were convicted by the GTMO military commission. We should hope most are prosecuted and imprisoned one way or the other, because an increasingly large number Obama has set free are back on the battlefield.
While Obama maintains that the figure is “only a handful,” 196 have either been suspected or confirmed to have returned to a life or terrorism. Last June, even the Obama administration had to acknowledge that at least 12 detainees released from Guantanamo Bay have launched attacks against the U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing “about a half-dozen Americans, according to current and former U.S. officials.”
One of those released was Sheikh Khubayb al Sundani (formally known as Ibrahim Qosi), who is now an al-Qaeia leader in Yemen. As the Gateway Pundit reported, he’s threatening to do far more damage to Americans.
Al Qosi promised “new and creative ways” of killing Americans in upcoming attacks. Homeland Security Today reported that; As the Obama administration released 15 more high value al-Qaida detainees from Guantanamo (GITMO), former detainee Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud Al Qosi — who was released in 2012 as part of a plea deal after pleading guilty to conspiracy and supporting terrorism, and joined and immediately hooked up with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in December 2014 – this week vowed attacks in the U.S. by English-speaking jihadis with Western names not on CIA or FBI terrorist lists.“[Attacks] will continue but will be [in] a creative and new way by men of your own [who] carry your names, speak your language, and did not receive training in Afghanistan, and whose names are not on the CIA and FBI black list – men who might have in the past drunk alcohol, eaten pork, or been soldiers in your army,” Al Qosi, a member of AQAP’s Shura council, vowed in an article published by Al Marsa, a weekly newspaper affiliated with AQAP. He also “urged the mujahideen in Syria to unite and form a new army whose mission would be to liberate Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Homeland Security Today previously reported that al-Qaida and its affiliated groups like AQAP were actively recruiting radicalized Westerners unknown to counterterrorism authorities who are able to travel freely throughout the West. It’s not just ISIS anymore, and these jihadis will be even more difficult to detect.
So far, has anyone benefited from Obama’s policies on Guantanamo Bay, aside from terrorists?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]