In case anyone needed hard proof that shutting down Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) and releasing its enemy combatant prisoners there is a really bad idea, here you go.
Former GITMO prisoner Ibrahim Qosi, released in July 2012, has resurfaced in a new video. And in the category of #ShockingNotShocking, Qosi — also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani — is now back in the public eye. You guessed it, preaching the jihadist gospel to inspire recruits and followers to take up the sword.
With his personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention — from which he’s now been released, thanks to our dear president — Qosi is a poster child for jihadist propaganda. Quite literally.
Not to mention now one of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s leaders.
As The Long War Journal reports:Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani. In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.
Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.”
Now here’s a particularly interesting part, given what just happened last week in San Bernardino. The video preaches “individual jihad,” encouraging attacks by individuals and smaller terror cells. Again, no longer surprising and yet enough to make us all sit up in our seats.
Islamic scholars ensure the “correctness” of the “jihadist project,” according to Qosi. And the war against America continues through “individual jihad,” which al Qaeda encourages from abroad. Here, Qosi referred to al Qaeda’s policy of encouraging attacks by individual adherents and smaller terror cells. Indeed, AQAP’s video celebrates jihadists who have acted in accordance with this call, such as the Kouachi brothers, who struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris earlier this year. The Kouachi brothers’ operation was sponsored by AQAP.
The al Qaeda veterans shown in the video emphasized the importance of following the advice of recognized jihadist ideologues. Although AQAP’s men do not mention the Islamic State by name, they clearly have Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s group in mind. Al Qaeda has criticized the Islamic State for failing to follow the teachings of widely respected jihadist authorities, most of whom reject the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s self-declared “caliphate.”
Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.
When you read up on what U.S. officials knew about Qosi before they released him, you have to figure a five-year-old would have enough sense to think releasing him is a really bad idea. Anyone could predict where he would end up once free.
A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files documented Qosi’s extensive al Qaeda dossier. In the threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts described Qosi as a “high” risk to the US and its allies.
“Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released,” JTF-GTMO found.
Read his full history here.
While detained at Guantanamo in 2003, Qosi was asked why he stayed true to bin Laden for so many years. According to JTF-GTMO, Qosi explained it was his “religious duty to defend Islam and fulfill the obligation of jihad and that the war between America and al Qaeda is a war between Islam and aggression of the infidels.”
Qosi made it clear in AQAP’s new production that he hasn’t changed his opinion in the twelve years since.
So, why on earth would U.S. officials have deemed it a good idea to release Qosi? Was it that President Obama and John Kerry felt so confident that they had “neutralized” al-Qaida?
Or simply that, in President Obama’s mind, his ideological agenda must march on — security of the American people, be damned.
And that may be the only reason to explain this — and the fact that the U.S. just released five more detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United Arab Emirates, in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. What’s the definition of insanity?
It would appear, based on this latest al-Qaida video, that by releasing GITMO prisoners, the U.S. is aiding and abetting terrorist recruitment — delivering back into their hands prime leaders and spokesman for the cause.
Enough to make you wonder (yet again), whose side is President Obama on anyway?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]