Gitmo

Trump Administration Signals Intent to ‘Load Up’ Gitmo with Newly Captured Jihadists

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has signaled that it plans to “load up” the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with newly captured “bad dudes” linked to the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and other Islamic terrorists and their affiliates. President Trump vowed to “load [Guantánamo] up with some bad dudes” before being inaugurated, and U.S. Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions has been an ardent supporter of that pledge. Last Friday, Sessions, his deputy Rod Rosenstein, and U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats visited the Guantánamo, commonly known as Gitmo, facility. According to Ian Prior, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the purpose of Session’s first trip to Gitmo as AG was to gain “an up-to-date understanding of current operations.” The trip was also intended to show that Guantánamo remains a “perfectly acceptable” place to house new jihadi suspects as opposed to imprisoning them on U.S. soil and trying them in civilian courts, as former President Barack Obama’s administration had suggested. “Recent attacks in Europe and elsewhere confirm that the threat to our nation is immediate and real, and it remains essential that we use every lawful tool available to prevent as many attacks as possible,” noted the DOJ spokesman. Sessions has been very vocal in his support for keeping Gitmo running. In March, Sessions told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that Gitmo is a “very fine place for holding these types of dangerous criminals,” referring to Islamic terrorists. “There’s plenty of space. We’re well-equipped for it. It’s a perfect place for it. Eventually, this will be decided by the military rather than the Justice Department, but I see no legal problem whatsoever with doing that,” declared the AG. Even as the long-time Republican Senator of Alabama, Sessions had no qualms about expressing his opposition to shutting down the prison. “We’ve spent a lot of money fixing it up,” Sessions told Hewitt. “And I’m inclined to the view that it remains a perfectly acceptable place. And I think the fact is that a lot of the criticisms have just been totally exaggerated.” Soon after Trump took office, the New York Times (NYT) indicated that the president intended to keep his pledge and keep Gitmo operating, reversing eight years of his predecessor’s policy. Former President Obama failed to keep his promise to shut down the facility, which as a candidate he claimed he would do on his first day in office. Although some of the Gitmo prisoners released by Obama have returned to terrorist activities or are suspected or doing so, the former president did not incarcerate any new jihadists at the facility.

Glad to hear we’re gonna put this perfectly good, and cost-effective, facility back to good use.  Bringing these terrorists caught on the battlefield back to the states (where they enjoy all sorts of legal protections) was the WRONG idea.  So, glad to hear that foolish decision by Obama is being reversed.  Excellent!!   To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Obama transfers four more Gitmo detainees

Continuing a push in defiance of President-elect Donald Trump, President Obama has transferred four more terrorism detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, lowering the prison population to 55. The four detainees, natives of Yemen, have been transferred to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said. They were captured during the Afghanistan war and had been imprisoned without trial for about 15 years. Human Rights First praised the move and encouraged Mr. Obama to accelerate the pace of transfers before Mr. Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20. Another 14 detainees have been approved for transfer. “While today’s transfer is encouraging, the president must act swiftly if he is to transfer the remaining detainees who have been unanimously cleared by national security agencies,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala. “The president has signaled time and again that closing Guantanamo is a priority for his administration; though it seems unlikely he is to complete that goal, he can and should continue to dwindle the population.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that more transfers are likely before the president leaves office. Mr. Trump has said he would keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay and send more terrorism suspects to the facility.

USS Cole commander blasts transfer of Al Qaeda Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia

The man at the helm of the USS Cole when it was attacked by an Al Qaeda cell in 2000 said last month’s release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee linked to the bombers denies justice to the 17 people killed aboard the ship. Kirk Lippold, who was commanding officer of the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer when suicide bombers aboard a small fishing boat blew a hole in the side of the ship, told FoxNews.com Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri’s release was a mistake. “I would have liked to have seen him receive a military commission where he was tried, convicted and sentenced and then his suitability for release determined under the laws of armed conflict,” Lippold said. “From the perspective of the American people and my crew, he’s never been held accountable,” Lippold added. In addition to those killed, 37 service members were wounded in the Oct. 12, 2000 attack, which came as the Cole refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden, nearly a year before Al Qaeda would register its signature attack, on 9/11. Al Sabri, a 38-year-old Yemeni citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia, was at one point believed to have been a member of the terror cell behind the attack, although a subsequent assessment at Gitmo, like many done on detainees who have since been released, downplayed his role. The Obama administration has acclerated the release of Guantanamo detainees to fulfill a campaign pledge to critics who say the suspected combatants are being held indefinitely without due process. There was never enough evidence to bring under a military commission in al Sabri’s case. But a September 2008 report by the Department of Defense assessed al Sabri as “high risk” and “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.” At that time, the reason for continued detention was listed as follows: “Detainee was a member of an Yememi Al Qaeda cell which was directly involved with the USS COLE attack. Detainee attended advanced training in Afghanistan after recruitment by a known Al Qaeda facilitator.” A 2014 report, however, said al Sabri “may have” trained at a camp, was merely an Al Qaeda “associate” and “probably did not play a significant role in terrorist operations.” Paul Rester, the former head of interrogations at Guantanamo, said the “language has softened” over the years in many terrorist detainee cases. “The only thing that could have changed is someone’s perception that al Sabri or someone like him mellowed – that they don’t pose much of a threat anymore,” he said. But, Rester noted, “we can’t run a jail indefinitely.”

Um… Why the hell not?!?!  The “language has softened” since 2009 to fit Obama’s agenda of releasing all of these Al Qaeda, ISIS and other Islamic nutjobs.  We wholeheartedly agree with Commander Lippold’s position.  this maggot, al Sabri, should go through a military tribunal at Gitmo, free of any pressure from the Obama administration, and if he is found to be guilty of having a role in the attack on the USS Cole (or any other U.S. interest), then he should be held accountable.  To just release him to fulfill one of Obama’s campaign promises is wrong, and NOT in our country’s national security interests.  Those held at Gitmo aren’t exactly J-walkers.  Just sayin…

Castro demands U.S. give back Guantanamo, lift embargo

Cuban President Raul Castro told President Obama Monday that the U.S. must return the Guantanamo Bay naval base and lift the embargo against Havana for the countries to fully normalize relations. “The blockade stands as the most important obstacle to our economic development,” Mr. Castro said as the two leaders emerged from a meeting on Mr. Obama’s historic trip to the island. He also said in order for the countries to move forward, “it will also be necessary” for the U.S. to return Guantanamo, which is based on the eastern end of Cuba. Gitmo is where the U.S. is operating a detention center for terrorism suspects, as well as the navy base. Mr. Castro referred to Gitmo as “illegally occupied” territory. Mr. Castro said in defiance of U.S. criticism that Cuba “defends” human rights for all. Mr. Obama, who didn’t mention Gitmo in his opening statement, agreed with Mr. Castro that “the road ahead will not be easy.” Mr. Obama, who opposes the embargo, said he will continue to call on Congress to lift the restrictions. He told Mr. Castro that the U.S. will keep speaking up about the need for democratic reforms and improvement of human rights in Cuba. “The relationship between our governments will not be transformed overnight,” Mr. Obama said. During a short news conference, Mr. Obama appeared irritated when Mr. Castro interrupted Mr. Obama’s answer to a reporter’s question to confer with an aide nearby. “Excuse me?” Mr. Obama said to Mr. Castro as they stood side by side at podiums. The Cuban leader explained to Mr. Obama that he was trying to discern whether the American reporter’s question about Cuba holding political prisoners was intended for him. Then Mr. Castro addressed the reporter for CNN. “Give me a list of these political prisoners,” he demanded. “Give me a name or names. What political prisoners?” He said if he received a list of names, those people would be released by the end of the day.

Or…maybe executed..

More former Gitmo detainees suspected of returning to battlefield

A dozen former detainees at Guantanamo Bay are suspected of returning to the battlefield on behalf of various militant groups, according to a report released by the Obama administration Monday. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said that seven of the 144 detainees who have been freed since President Barack Obama took office in 2009 have been confirmed to have returned to fighting as of Jan. 15. The ODNI’s previous report, from this past July, said six detainees had gone back to battle. The number of suspected recidivist detainees was double the number in this past July’s report. The increase is likely to spark new protests by Republicans opposed to President Obama’s plan to shut down the facility and transfer dozens of detainees to prisons in the U.S. Under Obama’s plan, roughly 35 of the 91 current prisoners will be transferred to other countries in the coming months, leaving up to 60 detainees who are either facing trial by military commission or have been determined to be too dangerous to release but are not facing charges. Those detainees would be relocated to a U.S. facility. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said last month that Republicans are taking legal steps to stop Obama from closing the prison. Ryan told reporters that lawmakers have the votes to block Obama’s plan in Congress and enough votes to override any veto. “These detainees cannot come to American soil,” Ryan said at the time. The ODNI report does not specify where or for which groups the former detainees are confirmed or suspected to be fighting.

Of course not..  These are numbers from the Obama administration; not some conservative think tank in D.C.  So, it makes ya wonder how many of these former detainees REALLY have returned to the battlefield that have been released by this incompetent administration?  Regardless, the whole notion of shutting down the Camp Justice facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (aka “Gitmo”) is breathtakingly stupid and not in our country’s national security interests.  But, Obama is a hard-core, agenda-driven, liberal committed to his liberal agenda/ideology, and doesn’t give a damn about our country’s national security needs….which is really his #1 job.

Ex-Gitmo detainee nabbed in Spain latest on growing list of terrorists returning to battle

A terror suspect nabbed last week in North Africa is the latest in a mounting and alarming list of former Guantanamo Bay detainees to return to the battlefield, say experts who have tracked Gitmo prisoners in and out of the facility for the last 14 years. Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, nicknamed the “Spanish Taliban,” was arrested with three others Feb. 23 by Spanish and Moroccan authorities on the North African coast. He reportedly led a jihadist effort aimed at recruiting teens to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and was prepared to commit terrorist acts on Spanish soil. Ahmed was deemed particularly dangerous by Spanish law enforcement because he was “trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics (which) makes this cell particularly dangerous.” “The prisoners in Gitmo now should not be released,” said Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and editor of the Long War Journal. “These are dangerous members of Al Qaeda and allied jihadist groups. It is suicidal in my opinion to release members of a group you are at war with while you continue to be at war with them.” Often after they are released to their home country, they are freed and return to fight Americans and their allies, Roggio said. In the case of Ahmed, a 2004 Joint Task Force Guantanamo report said he should not be released because he “poses a high threat to the U.S., its interests and its allies”… and “remains dedicated to the cause of jihad against the U.S.,” but the U.S. transferred him into the hands of the Spanish government, which released him after the Spanish Supreme Court overturned his conviction on terrorism related activities. Some 779 prisoners were held at Guantánamo since January 2002 when the facility opened, and since, 678 were transferred or released, nine died while in custody, and another 91 are still behind bars. There are petitions being circulated by those who want to see the Gitmo prisoners released, including groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. They are pushing President Obama to keep his 2008 campaign pledge to close the facility. Obama transferred 10 of the prisoners in January without the approval of Congress. Obama traded another five prisoners to the Taliban in a highly controversial deal for the return of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after he deserted. Obama has maintained holding prisoners at Gitmo feeds the terrorist recruitment efforts, but Roggio said Guantanamo is not a recruiting tool for terror groups. “We are closing Guantanamo for all the wrong reasons. For reasons that continue to be repeated and are flat out wrong,” Roggio said. Congress has passed numerous measures opposing the prisoners’ transfer to U.S. soil, and military and defense experts have opposed their outright release, maintaining the prisoners are still extremely dangerous. “There is pretty strong evidence, even from the Obama administration, that the majority of the folks we released and sent back have eventually made their way to the country we sent them to, back into the fight somehow,” said Steve Bucci, director of the Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation and a retired Army Special Forces officer. “Who does that in the middle of a war?”

Obama does…because he’s an agenda-driven moron..  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Opinion: Why Closing Gitmo Is Still a Terrible Idea

Less than a week ago, French lawmakers voted to extend the state of emergency initiated in November after the Paris jihadist attacks that left 130 dead and 367 wounded. By law, the emergency status vests police with expanded powers to conduct raids, seize property, and detain persons without judicial oversight, much less trial. It was impossible not to think of France this morning as President Obama once again agitated for the closing of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. It is an unkept promise to the hard Left from his 2008 campaign that the president has been working on since his first full day in office seven years ago. The case has not gotten better with time, unless we factor in the extortionate tactics of the community organizer. Obama has released so many jihadists to other countries that the Gitmo prisoner population is down to 91 (according to the New York Times). Obama, in his brass knuckles way, is telling Congress, “Either shutter this place or I’ll spring even more committed terrorists to return to the jihad.” The threat is his most persuasive argument. The rest of his case is as preposterous as it ever was. Or worse, actually. The president claims that our allies in the fight against “violent extremism” are dismayed by Gitmo’s continuing operation. Really? Does anyone really believe that the French are worried about Guantanamo Bay when they have suspended their own civil-liberties protections to deal with the prospect of more mass-murder attacks? How about other European countries grappling with the fallout of “migrants” overrunning their territories? Think Gitmo is at the top of their list? The most laughable claim Obama makes is that Gitmo drives terrorist recruitment. This has always been a specious assertion, made all the more remarkable now by Obama’s campaign to bring thousands of unvettable Syrian “migrants” into our country — on top of the hundreds of thousands of foreigners from Islamic countries who have come to the United States during Obama’s presidency. For the guy who is bringing the recruits here in droves to fret about recruitment is even more precious than is the urging of Gitmo’s closing as a cost-saving measure by the guy who has added $10 trillion to the national debt in just over seven years. In any event, I’ve responded to the recruitment point several times, most recently after the San Bernardino attack in December: “[T]here are two things that drive terrorist recruitment. The first is Islamic supremacism. In a West ever more indifferent to religion and entranced by the smug assumption that our “values” are universal, the power of a conquest ideology cloaked in religion eludes us. But it seizes our enemies and burns like a fire inside them. While Obama sees America as something to apologize for, Islamists portray their jihad as the road to esteem in this life and bounty in the next. It is a heinous belief system, but belief in something always beats belief in nothing. The second driver of terrorist recruitment is the perception that the jihadists are winning, the conviction that they will ultimately prevail. Osama bin Laden wooed young Muslims with the wisdom that people are always drawn to the strong horse and shun the weak one. While Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi follows up each jihadist atrocity by seizing more territory and enslaving more subjects, the president of the United States follows each jihadist atrocity — Benghazi, Paris, and now San Bernardino — by releasing more jihadists from Gitmo. It’s not Gitmo driving recruitment. It’s our president. In truth, Muslims don’t care a whit about Guantanamo Bay. I prosecuted one of the world’s most notorious terrorists in the mid ’90s, the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, who formed the cell that carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. He got the gold-plated due process of a civilian trial and all the trimmings of top-shelf civilian prison — no Gitmo for him. And you know what? Islamic supremacists continue to condemn his incarceration and jihadists have killed scores of people to try to extort his release. They don’t care where we detain jihadists; they care that we detain jihadists. Does Obama think we should release all the terrorists in federal penitentiaries, too? You know, to depress recruitment . . . Because it is Islamic supremacism and the perception of victory that draws young Muslims to the jihad, the brute fact is: It’s not detaining terrorists at Gitmo that spurs recruitment; it’s releasing them. Muslims who wage war against America and are held in our prisons become icons of the jihad. They rise from obscurity to legend, and their status imbues them with authority to command attacks, raise funds, and attract recruits.

Another outstanding op/ed by attorney Andrew C. McCarthy.  To read the rest, click on the text above.  Closing Gitmo is foolish.  But, it’s Obama…  So, I’m repeating myself..

Opinion: U.S. military won’t obey unlawful Gitmo order

For seven long years, the United States military has been subjected, as has the country it protects, to a series of assaults on its strength, character and stature – not at the hands of foreign foes, but at the direction of President Barack Obama. The men and women of our armed forces respect the fact that they are subject to civilian authority and have acceded as they have witnessed their services being hollowed out and their enemies emboldened. But they swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.” And without fanfare, a representative of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has written Congress that the U.S. military will not violate the law barring the transfer here of jihadists from Guantanamo Bay if ordered to do so by President Obama. Hoo-ha!

Outstanding!  Thanks to Frank Gaffney for bringing this story to our attention!    🙂

Obama releases al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives expert

The Obama administration has released one of al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives experts, a man personally praised by Osama bin Laden and who created the shoe-bomb design that was used unsuccessfully to bring down an airliner in 2001. The Pentagon said on Thursday that Egyptian Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, who may have known of the September 11, 2001 plot, was transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of Bosnia. Al Sawah fought with the Bosnia army in the early 1990s and eventually made his way to Afghanistan in 2000. Like other members of al Qaeda, al-Sawah began his terrorism career as a member of the secretive Muslim Brotherhood, which is present in the U.S. Al Sawah’s Guantanamo file reveals a number of chronic medical problems in 2008, when secret profile was created by Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Now, 58, he was listed as “morbidly obese,” and suffered at the time from diabetes, fatty liver disease and chronic pain from spinal cord compression. Prison doctors urged him to get more exercise. In his terrorism career, he was close to bin Laden and taught classes in explosives at the al Qaeda leader’s Tarnak Farms training camp. In Afghanistan, al-Sawah developed a mine to sink U.S. ships and the shoe-bomb prototype that Richard Reid attempted to ignite while on a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001. “Detainee also associated with the planners and perpetrators of international terrorist attacks and other senior al-Qaida members, and may have had advanced knowledge of the 11 September 2001 attacks,” states his secret file, which was published by Wikileaks along with hundred of other Gitmo dossiers. “Detainee participated in hostilities against U.S. and Coalition forces, and is a veteran extremist combatant.” Joint Task Force Guantanamo judged al-Sawah to be a “medium” risk to U.S. troops and recommended him for transfer. The publicized file may prove a problem for al-Sawah on the outside. He became an “exceptional” intelligence source, his file says, which could cause a terrorist to seek revenge. “He has been compliant over the last four years,” the file says. “He continues to be a highly prolific source and has provided invaluable intelligence regarding explosives, al-Qaida, affiliated entities and their activities. If released, detainee will possibly reestablish extremist associations, but is unlikely to do so as his cooperation with the U.S. government may serve to identify detainee as a target for revenge by those associates.” His released brings the prison population, once at over 700, to 92, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. President Obama plans to close the prison and bring who is ever left at Gitmo to an American prison. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, says Mr. Obama would be violating federal law which prohibits the action.

Wow..  Feel safer?

Obama releases Gitmo detainees determined to keep trying to kill Americans

Among the 10 Yemeni terrorists released by the Obama administration this week, one is Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh, a man who has pledged to kill as many Americans as possible. Another of the latest group is Abu Bakr Ibn Muhammad al-Ahdal, an al Qaeda member described by the intelligence community as a “willing terrorist against the U.S.” In fact, five of the 10 were deemed by the George W. Bush administration in 2008 as a “high risk” to go back on the battlefield and kill Americans. The other five were designated “medium” risks. The release of the 10 detainees brings the population at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to 93 — the first time it’s dropped below 100 detainees since 2002, at the height of the fight in Afghanistan against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter also said Thursday he’s “framed” for President Obama a plan to close the prison entirely and bring the remaining detainees to the U.S. He said he hopes Congress will approve the plan, but, in the meantime, he’ll keep looking for cases such as al-Shaykh and al-Ahdal. “While we work with Congress on the way forward, we will continue to transfer Guantanamo detainees to other countries when and as we have mitigated any security risk to the United States,” he said. But the release of high-risk detainees to Oman, from which they could relaunch terror careers in nearby Yemen, underscores the increasingly slim pickings Mr. Obama and Mr. Carter have as they press for shuttering the prison. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, said she fears the 10 will spend little time in Oman before traveling home to Yemen, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operates and is determined to strike the American homeland. “I am particularly concerned that the Omani government has accepted the detainees for what they are calling a ‘temporary stay,’ which raises serious questions about whether they will even be detained in Oman, for how long and under what conditions,” Ms. Ayotte said. “The administration should be forthright with the American people regarding these concerns, and also about the detainees’ terrorist activities, associations and their actions at Gitmo.” Ibrahim al-Qosi, a bin Laden confidant released by the Obama administration in 2012, has returned to terrorism as a spokesman and recruiter for AQAP. About 30 percent of Guantanamo graduates have resumed, or are suspected of restarting, terrorist activity. The number will likely increase as intelligence agencies gather more information. The Obama administration points out that, if they do reengage, they are subject to being killed. The public knows about these terrorists, not because the government released details, but because WikiLeaks acquired and posted scores of “secret” 2008 detainee assessments by Joint Task Force Guantanamo. The dossiers are chilling in that the al Qaeda members seemed just as committed in 2008 as when they joined Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan nexus. Al-Shaykh presented himself to U.S. officials as a hardened member of al Qaeda who wants to kill. “Detainee has threatened to kill all Americans and identified [bin Laden] as his brother in arms,” the assessment states. “Detainee was recruited through a known al Qaeda facilitation network and he was identified as a suicide operative. Detainee’s threats to kill U.S. personnel and his refusal to truthfully answer questions indicate his continuing support to extremism.” The assessment depicted al-Shaykh as a liar, the user of many aliases and someone deeply rooted in the al Qaeda culture of murder justified by the Koran. “Detainee has repeatedly threatened to kill US personnel,” reads another report section. “Such threats include the statement that he will kill all Americans and specific threats to cut off the head of guard personnel and his statement, ‘I will kill you, Captain, and I will take your religion away from you.’ Detainee also expressed the threat that [bin Laden] will kill the General (former CJTF), and the president.” For al-Ahdal, the assessment said, “Detainee identified himself as a willing terrorist against the U.S. and acknowledged he was a member of a terrorist support entity in Yemen.” Al-Ahdal fought with al Qaeda in northern Afghanistan and in Tora Bora, one of the last major battles of the 2001 U.S. invasion during which bin Laden slipped away. He was killed in a May 2011 raid in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs. Al-Ahdal was a member of bin Laden’s infamous 55th Arab Brigade, which formed an alliance with the Taliban then ruling Afghanistan, helping them to stay in power. Three other inmates released to Oman were also previously judged too high a threat risk to be released.

This is a follow up to the article we posted yesterday (scroll down) regarding the 10 detainees at Gitmo, etc.  Anyway, to read the rest of this disturbing article by Rowan Scarborough over at The Washington Times, click on the text above.  Rowan is in the same league as Bill Gertz.  Both are very well connected inside the beltway of D.C. in the military and intelligence circles…and know their stuff.  This report from Rowan is devastating, and exposes just how foolish Obama’s stubborn, agenda-driven decision to close Gitmo really is.