Former Gitmo detainee killed while leading jihadist group in Syria

via The Long War Journal. h/t Religion of Peace

Ibrahim Bin Shakaran, a Moroccan who spent more than three years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before being released to Moroccan custody, has been killed while leading a jihadist group that fights Syrian government forces.

Bin Shakaran, who is also known as Abu Ahmad al Maghribi, Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, and Brahim Benchekroune, was “martyred, Insha’Allah, in battles for Hilltop # 45 in Latakia,” according to Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.

Bin Shakaran led a jihadist group known as Sham al Islam, which is based in Latakia and is comprised primarily of fighters from Morocco, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Bin Shakaran created the group “not only to recruit fighters for the Syria war, but also to establish a jihadist organization within Morocco itself.”

Sham al Islam has been fighting alongside the al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, as well as Ahrar al Sham and the Army of the Emigrants and Supporters in an ongoing offensive in the coastal province of Latakia.

Sham al Islam was one of several rebel groups that fought in another offensive in Latakia in August 2013 in which major human rights abuses were committed. While Human Rights Watch noted that Sham al Islam was present during the offensive, it could not confirm if the group was involved in the atrocities committed. The group’s allies, the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, Ahrar al Sham, Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (or Army of Emigrants and Helpers), and Suquor al Izz, were directly implicated. [See Report highlights al Qaeda affiliates' role in Syrian atrocities, from LWJ.]

Bin Shakaran is the second former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Morocco reported to have been killed in Syria while waging jihad for Sham al Islam. The other ex-Guantanamo detainee, who was known as Mohammed al ‘Alami, was killed last year.

A December 2003 leaked threat assessment authored by Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) identified Bin Shakaran as a “high-ranking member” of the theological commission of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization. According to the assessment, he traveled to Afghanistan in November 2000, “attended basic and advanced training at the Al Farouq training camp,” a known al Qaeda facility, “from January to May 2001,” and then “rotated to the front lines near Kabul” in October 2001 after the US invaded Afghanistan.

Bin Shakaran fled Afghanistan as US forces pressed al Qaeda. He passed through the Afghan province of Logar, then to Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal area, then to Bannu, and after that to Lahore with “two Pakistanis, three Arabs and a Turkmenistani.”

The 2003 JTF-GTMO threat assessment recommended that Bin Shakaran remain in custody as he “poses a high risk as he is likely to pose a threat against the US, its interests, or her allies.”

Despite the assessment, the US transferred Bin Shakaran to Moroccan custody in July 2004, and he was released shortly afterward by Moroccan authorities.

Bin Shakaran immediately returned to the fight. The Defense Department reported in 2008 that Bin Shakaran and another freed Guantanamo detainee known as Mohammed Bin Ahmad Mizouz were involved “in a terrorist network recruiting Moroccans to fight for Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq.” Zarqawi’s group was responsible for killing and wounding thousands of US soldiers in Iraq.

Read it all.

Obama Frees Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard from Gitmo

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via Obama Parole Board Frees Al Qaeda Terrorist, Bin Laden Guard From Gitmo | Judicial Watch.

The Al Qaeda terrorist—Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard—determined to be “too dangerous to be released” from Guantanamo just a few years ago will be freed from the military prison because President Obama’s new parole board found he no longer poses a “significant threat to the United States.”

The shocking about-face comes on the heels of mainstream news reports disclosing that a former Guantanamo detainee, Sufian bin Qumu, participated in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Libya.  Bin Qumu was released from the prison at the U.S. naval base in Cuba despite having historic ties to the Al Qaeda network and training at bin Laden’s Torkham camp, according to information obtained from his Gitmo file.

That makes this week’s news that bin Laden’s former bodyguard, Mahmud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid, will soon be free, all the more outrageous. It was not that long ago—in 2010—that an Obama task force listed Mujahid as too dangerous to release from Gitmo. That put him on a special “forever prisoner” list of 48 indefinite detainees. His Pentagon file says he’s a high risk likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies and that he is of high intelligence value.

The defense document also says Mujahid is a member of Al Qaeda who served as a body guard for bin Laden for one year and that he has familial ties to Al Qaeda members, including other bin Laden bodyguards and Gitmo detainees.  He traveled to Afghanistan in late 1999 or early 2000 for jihad and received militant training at the Al Qaeda al-Faruq training camp, the file says.

“Detainee is a committed jihadist who received theological training from, and was recruited by, radical Yemeni shaykhs who continue to recruit Yemeni youth to participate in hostilities against US and coalition forces. Detainee’s assessed commitment to jihadis supported by his discussions with another JTF-GTMO detainee on methods to conduct suicide during detention.”

Yet soon he will be freed to his native Yemen because Obama promised to close the military prison. Gitmo still houses 155 men and the president created a special parole panel, a six-member Periodic Review Board, to essentially clear out the facility. Mujahid is the first prisoner to be considered by the panel, though dozens of Gitmo detainees have already been approved for release to meet the demands of the leftist groups that have long called for the facility to shut down.

Obama’s special Periodic Review Board found that Mujahid’s “continued law of war detention is no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the United States,” according to a Pentagon announcement. Therefore Mujahid is “eligible for transfer subject to appropriate security and humane treatment conditions.” No further information was offered on the drastic change in this prisoner’s assessment.

His file leaked/stolen from Gitmo reads:

Detainee is a committed jihadist who received theological training from, and was recruited by, radical Yemeni shaykhs who continue to recruit Yemeni youth to participate in hostilities against US and coalition forces. Detainee?s assessed commitment to jihadis supported by his discussions with another JTF-GTMO detainee on methods to conduct suicide during detention.

Click the “Gitmo” link below to see previous posts on matters at Gitmo, but in particular read this July 2013 post that garnered almost no media attention: US releases five Taliban and two Algerian jihadis from Gitmo.

Congressional Deal Clears Way For Release of Jihadis from Gitmo

From behind enemy lines… ThinkProgress.

A deal between the House and Senate is set to clear the way for the the transfer of more than half of the current detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay to other countries, a move that Congress has long prevented.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is one of the most closely watched bills to come out of the Congress each year, as it is considered one of the bills that a president is particularly loathe to veto. Each side of the Capitol’s initial draft of the Fiscal Year 2014 NDAA included a different view of what should be done with the 162 detainees remaining imprisoned in the United States’ outpost on Cuba. Within the Senate version, detainees would be allowed to be brought to the U.S. for trial in civilian courts. In the House’s draft, meanwhile, all current restrictions on prisoner transfers would remain in place.

In what’s being hailed as a compromise, the ban on moving detainees to the United States remains, while the president is given the authority to increase the number of detainees transferred to third countries. At present, 84 of the detainees set for release or transfer have yet to be moved; 55 of those would be reptriated to Yemen in the event they are given the green light from the Pentagon. President Obama in April pledged once more to make good on his campaign promise close the facility, with a boost in transfers included as part of the strategy.

“This is a bipartisan bill that meets our obligations to our men and women in uniform and their families and includes important reforms and authorities for the Department of Defense,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. His Republican counterpart, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), agreed, urging his colleagues “to move quickly to pass this bill before we adjourn for the year.”

Transfers for those cleared to be sent overseas became one of the focal points of this year’s widespread hunger strike among the camp’s detainees. At its peak, more than 100 of the detention center’s occupants were on strike, refusing meals after their copies of the Quran were searched and their fellow inmates cleared for transfer remained in place. Gitmo authorities responded by force-feeding dozens of the strikers, in doing so drawing international condemnation for violating medical ethics. Army Capt. Jason Wright, a detainee lawyer, told ThinkProgress in March when asked about how to end the hunger strike that one step could be through providing hope to detainees, through the previously promised release of some of their co-inhabitants.

Several amendments were offered last year to aid in the closure of the base, but the only change to the NDAA that passed through Congress related to GTMO involved expansions of the prison, to the tune of $200 million. In recent months, however, Congress has finally begun to balk at the amount of money it costs to keep Guantanamo open. “The annual cost of holding a prisoner at the Supermax is $79,000,” CAP expert Ken Gude wrote at ThinkProgress last week. “At Guantanamo, that number is $2.7 million.”

Both costs are too high and too many in government are lining their pockets in the process.

The most recent transfer from Guantanamo took place on December 5, when two detainees — Djamel Saiid Ali Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem — were sent to their country of origin, Algeria. Rather than being praised, however, activists are condemning the transfer due to Algeria’s record of human rights abuses. Instead, they would have preferred that the two had been transferred to a third country, such as Luxembourg who has offered to take in former detainees.

Send them all to their country of origin, with a bill, and let them be dealt with accordingly.

Obama to Free Gitmo Terrorists Who Learn About ‘Peaceful Form of Islam’

bizarroworldvia Judicial Watch.

The Obama administration is negotiating to release Guantanamo terrorists to a renowned Middle Eastern Al Qaeda training ground if the prisoners undergo “counseling, instruction in a peaceful form of Islam and job training.”

This is no joke, though it sounds like a bad one. Better yet, the famously corrupt and leftist United Nations is helping with the deal, which is being kept quiet and solidified in a western European country. A mainstream newspaper got wind of it and reported on it this week, revealing “previously undisclosed talks held in Rome recently because of security risks in Yemen,” the eventual landing spot for the prisoners.

The deal would involve transferring dozens of prisoners held at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Cuba to a “detention facility” outside Yemen’s capital. “Deep disagreements remain on funding, and about whether it would function as another prison or as a halfway house for detainees to reenter society after years of confinement and isolation,” according to the news article, which quotes a U.S. official admitting “the risks are very high.”

That’s because Yemen, deemed a high security threat by the State Department for its terrorist activities, is an Al Qaeda hotbed and major base of Islamic militants. In fact, many of the Gitmo captives already released to Yemen have resumed their jihadist training, according intelligence reports. This led a powerful Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, California’s Dianne Feinstein, to join a group of Republicans to call for a halt of the flawed Yemeni repatriation program for Gitmo captives a few years ago.

Remember that it was a Yemen-trained terrorist who tried to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas a few years ago and an Al Qaeda wing in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attempt. Before that the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency revealed that an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen (Said Ali al-Shihri) was one of many who rejoined terrorist missions after being released from Gitmo to a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program. Al-Shihri organized a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen in 2008 and was involved in car bombings outside the American Embassy that killed at least 16 people.

It’s inconceivable that the administration is even considering releasing Gitmo captives to a Yemeni “halfway house.” Detainees at the facility would undergo counseling, instruction in a peaceful form of Islam, and job training in Yemen before any decision on freeing them, U.S. officials reveal in the newspaper article. They say the program would be modeled on a “largely successful Saudi effort to reintegrate Islamic militants into society” even though intelligence reports have shown a sharp rise in those who rejoin terrorist missions after going through the comical Saudi rehab.

Released Gitmo detainee was on ground in Benghazi during terror attack

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via Former Guantanamo detainee was on ground in Benghazi during terror attack, source says | Fox News.

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee with Al Qaeda ties was in Benghazi the night of the Sept. 11 attack, according to a source on the ground in Libya.

The source told Fox News that ex-detainee Sufian bin Qumu, who is suspected of running camps in eastern Libya where some of the assailants trained, is also a “respected member” of Ansar al-Sharia — one of the Islamist groups identified in State Department email traffic two hours after the attack.

Two sources familiar with the investigation, when asked about bin Qumu’s whereabouts the night of the attack, did not dispute the claim he was in Benghazi.

While it is not clear whether bin Qumu was directing the assault, his security file from Guantanamo may be revealing. Having already trained in Usama bin Laden’s camps, in 1998 bin Qumu joined the Taliban in Pakistan and “communicated with likely extremist elements via radio during this period indicating a position of leadership,” the file shows.

Fox News’ ongoing reporting on the attack has shown that at least four key Benghazi suspects have ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership in Pakistan. They include bin Qumu and Muhammad Jamal, whose network is also suspected of training jihadists for the attack. Jamal was held, and later released by, Egyptian authorities. Earlier this month, the State Department’s terrorist designation for Jamal and his network cites letters he exchanged with Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, where Jamal asked for money and explained the scope of his training camps, which included Libya and the Sinai.

Fox News was first to report that two other suspects have ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership — one believed to be a former courier and the other, a bodyguard for the network. Faraj al Chalabi, identified to Fox News as the bodyguard, was also in Afghanistan with bin Laden until the U.S. invasion in October 2001.

The hunt is still underway for suspects in the attack more than a year later, though some have questioned the administration’s resolve.

After Fox News reported earlier this week that the Benghazi suspects are not included on the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, which offers cash for tips that lead to suspected terrorists, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry questioning the omission.

The letter is now being circulated on Capitol Hill for signatures, Fox News has learned, and should be delivered to Kerry’s office no later than next week.

A draft reviewed by Fox News includes highly critical language. “We fail to understand how such an important counterterrorism tool could not be used by the administration, when you and the president claim that bringing the assailants to justice is such a high priority,” the draft says.

Bin Qumu was transferred to Guantanamo on May 5, 2002, and released to Libya on Sept. 28, 2007, where he was initially held and later released. His Guantanamo review file, originally a classified document but made public by WikiLeaks, says he is a “former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a probable member of al Qaida and a member of the North African Extremist Network. Detainee is a medium to high risk and he is likely to pose a threat to the US and it’s interests and allies.”

A review of State Department cables, also made public by WikiLeaks, shows that former Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the 2012 attack, was interested in bin Qumu’s fate once he was transferred from the U.S. military detention facility to Libya. Stevens had one of his subordinates meet with bin Qumu at the Libyan jail.

Before he was promoted to U.S. ambassador to Libya in May 2012, Stevens served as CDA, or “Charge de Affairs,” at the embassy in Tripoli. In 2008 cables, Stevens noted that he and his team from the politics and economic section of the embassy were visiting prisons to ensure the welfare of repatriated Guantanamo detainees from Libya. This included bin Qumu, who is referred to as ISN 557 in the cables dated from September 2008.

One cable says: “During our previous meeting on June 10, the security official who facilitated the meeting explained that detention protocols for extremists and terrorists mandate that they be held in solitary detention to preclude the possibility that they could recruit other members of the prison population. End note.”

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton noted to Fox News that “as we returned Gitmo inmates to Libya to be imprisoned by Muammar Qaddafi, the U.S. government was tasked with officially inquiring about their welfare in Libyan prisons.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier was first to report last fall that the intelligence community believed the former detainee was involved in the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Representatives with the CIA and National Counterterrorism Center declined to comment for this report. The FBI did not respond.

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New Obama Policy Limits Gitmo Access to Leftist, Terrorist Advocate Groups

via Gitmo Policy Change: Only Leftist Groups Get Access | Judicial Watch.

In a startling about-face, the Obama administration is restricting exclusive access to Military Commission hearings in Guantanamo Bay to five leftist human rights groups that openly advocate for the terrorist defendants.

The abrupt policy change was delivered a few weeks ago to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)—like Judicial Watch—that have repeatedly traveled to the U.S. Naval base in southeastern Cuba to observe the commission proceedings. In the name of transparency, the Department of Defense (DOD) years ago opened the legal proceedings of the world’s most dangerous terrorists to a wide spectrum of observers.

Since 2008 Judicial Watch, the only right-of-center organization to regularly monitor Gitmo proceedings, has sent representatives to Cuba 12 times. JW was present for the 2008 arraignment of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the 2011 arraignment of USS Cole bomber Bad al-Rahim al-Nassir and a number of KSM motion hearings in 2012 and 2013.

Under the new policy only five NGOs, selected by the Pentagon, will be guaranteed a seat at the commission hearings. They include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Bar Association. A memo issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense blames “logistical limitations” for the sudden move.

Judicial Watch appealed the decision but the Pentagon is not backing down from its new policy giving permanent observer seats at Gitmo to nonprofits that advocate for terrorists. “These groups represent a narrow, extreme ideological view on terrorist detainee issues,” JW President Tom Fitton writes in a letter to the DOD official in charge of the Military Commissions. “As you may well know, in some instances, persons affiliated with the five NGOs have served as legal counsel or political advocates for the terrorist detainees held at GTMO.”

The appeal letter further says that the group of permanent observers should reflect a full range of views in the debate on terrorist detainee issue. “Your proposed system could have the effect of freezing out any alternative voices from the NGO community, specifically those voices that have not served as legal and political advocates for terrorist detainees.”

The Military Commission chief of staff, Michael Quinn, responded by explaining that the five NGOs “were selected due to their ability to reach an international audience, their experience with international human rights in criminal trials and their stated mission to advance human rights through advocacy and respect for the law.” He ends by expressing appreciation for “Judicial Watch’s interest in the conduct of military commissions” and invites JW to watch proceedings on closed-circuit television at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Freed Gitmo Terrorist Killed Fighting with U.S.-backed Syrian “Rebels”

Was he armed with U.S.-supplied weapons or “non-lethal” aid? via Freed Gitmo Terrorist Member of Islamic Opposition in Syria | Judicial Watch.

As the Obama administration pushes its delusional tale that Syrian rebels aren’t terrorists, a mainstream newspaper chain publishes a story about a former Guantanamo captive who died fighting the Bashar Assad regime as a member of an Islamic opposition group.

The ex-Guantanamo prisoner, Mohammed al Alami, was one of hundreds released from the U.S. military facility in southeastern Cuba during the Bush administration. He spent four years at Gitmo, 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.” Records cited in the article show that the U.S. Army general in charge of Gitmo at the time advised against releasing Alami.

Over the years a variety of intelligence and foreign news reports have revealed that, like Alami, many of the freed Gitmo prisoners have rejoined terrorist missions after leaving the military compound. One of them, 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 returned to “the fight” after leaving Gitmo, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence.

The Department of Defense (DOD) supposedly keeps track of the released Gitmo captives, but the agency had no comment when asked about Alami and his role in the Syrian insurgency. That’s probably because, in its quest to make a case for U.S. military intervention, the Obama administration claims that a collection of secular moderates—that deserve U.S. backing—are leading the fight against the Syrian regime. Concerns about Al Qaeda jihadists running the rebel operations in Syria are unfounded, the administration assures.

To back this up the administration adopted the assessment of a 26-year-old Syria “expert” (Elizabeth O’Bagy), who convinced the president, secretary of state and some federal lawmakers that Syrian rebels are mostly moderates and not terrorists. It turns out that O’Bagy is also the political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), a group that advocates for Syria’s rebels from Washington D.C. She recently got fired from a Washington D.C. think-tank that studies military affairs for lying about having a doctorate.

Getting back to Gitmo, the compound is still home to 164 prisoners including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and USS Cole bomber Bad al-Rahim al-Nassir.

More: Ex-Guantanamo detainee dies fighting Assad in Syria

During the Bush years, the Pentagon repatriated more than 530 of the 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo since Jan. 11, 2002. Obama, vowing to close the prison, had his administration repatriate or resettle about 70 more.

And more on the dead jihadi and others: Moroccan Ex-Guantánamo Detainees Fighting in Syria’s Civil War

So far in the Syrian civil war, I have come across two Moroccan ex-Gitmo detainees fighting in Syria. One of them was killed during the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-led [ISIS] offensive in Latakia during the summer, whose sole aim was to strike a symbolic victory against the Assad regime by capturing and ethnically cleansing Assad’s ancestral village of Qardaḥa, while clearing out a number of Alawite localities on the way. The goal was to reach Qardaḥa by Eid al-Fiṭr (as Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wanted) so that the mujahideen could hold prayers in the village.

The Moroccan ex-Gitmo detainee killed in question was known by the nom de guerre of Abu Hamza al-Maghrebi. One of the first local Syrian pro-ISIS outlets to report his death was Maysar, based in Aleppo and using the FSA flag in its logo but ideologically aligned with ISIS.

Gitmo braces for unrest (ie, jihad) after Ramadan truce

bizarroworld

Giving jailed Muslim terrorists all the things that reinforce their beliefs is like giving jailed pedophiles kiddy porn. Still waging jihad via Guantanamo braces for unrest after Ramadan truce | The Raw Story.

The end of Ramadan has left authorities at the Guantanamo Bay military jail preparing for an uptick in unrest at the controversial prison, US officials say.

The annual Muslim fast is traditionally regarded as an unofficial truce at Guantanamo, where some inmates have been held for around a decade without trial.

However officials expect the end of Ramadan and the festival of Eid al-Fitr will be the cue for trouble at Guantanamo, which has witnessed an unprecedented six-month hunger strike this year.

Some inmates at Guantanamo have taken advantage of a tailored menu to observe the Eid holiday.

This weekend inmates were offered halal chicken, halal beef, lamb, dates, honey, says kitchen manager Sam Scott.

“We did begin Ramadan with what we call a Ramadan pardon,” he explained. “Some welcomed that opportunity; for some of them it was not a matter of two days before they began insulting guards.

“We’re not expected to see a massive disturbance but we will see an uptick in misbehaviors as we come out of Ramadan,” he added.

“Misbehavior” can take different forms, from hurling urine and feces and spitting to punching.

“If there’s a window of opportunity for a detainee for acting out, many will take that opportunity,” said Durand, who reported a calmer atmosphere in the camp during Ramadan.

If ever there was a good reason to shut Gitmo, dhimmitude and wasting taxpayer money would qualify. Otherwise, put the jihadists on trial and be done with it.

More: Guantanamo Bay will offer special meals, prayer services for inmates to celebrate Ramadan, officials said

The military planned to serve lamb, bread, dates and honey as the last daylight fasting period of Ramadan ends, followed by three traditional holiday dinners on Thursday, said a spokesman for the prison, Navy Capt. Robert Durand. There will also be a special hour-long prayer for the holiday known as Eid al-Fitr in addition to the five daily prayers.

US releases five Taliban and two Algerian jihadis from Gitmo

Prelude to surrender…er negotiations. via US releases prisoners from Guantanamo – Israel News, Ynetnews. h/t Jihad Watch

Without much publicity or official announcements, the Unites States released five Guantanamo Bay detainees as a nod of willingness to open peace talks in Afghanistan. After officials in Kabul expressed desire for negotiations, the Obama administration released five members of the Taliban who were detained at the US detention center.

A top US official said that the prisoners were released under the condition that they will not engage in any violent activity. While it is clear that they are guilty of crime, the benefit in releasing them—the potential withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by the summer of 2014—is greater than the risk. The US announced it will attempt to negotiate peace talks with the Taliban and Afghanistan government officials some months ago.

This gesture from the US government was a departure from the Obama administration’s policy of zero tolerance to negotiations with terrorists and releasing prisoners; thus, in preparation for talks with Afghan officials, the US state department redefined the Taliban as an organization that is no longer included in the US enemy list.

Releasing the detainees from Guantanamo Bay serves another purpose for President Obama: The more prisoners released from the camp, the likelier it is for Congress to approve shutting down the facility altogether—a campaign promise which Obama he has been trying to realize since first being elected in 2008.

Why do we find this out from Israeli media and not national news in the U.S.? Apparently it wasn’t even tweeted by terrorist sympathizer and Gitmo reporter Carol Rosenberg.

The Taliban release was preceded by the announcement that the Pentagon official in charge of detainee affairs was forced out “quitting” and that two Algerians were being released from Gitmo.

Meanwhile, Surrenderer in Chief is silent:

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Judge Halts Groin Searches at Gitmo, Calling Them Abhorrent to Muslims

via Judge Halts Groin Searches at Guantánamo, Calling Them Abhorrent to Muslims – NYTimes.com.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the military to stop touching the groins of detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, when they are moved from their cells to speak with lawyers. The procedure had led some prisoners to stop meeting with or calling their lawyers.

In a 35-page opinion, Judge Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, called the searches — which included guards wedging their hands between the genitals and thighs of the detainees as many as four times when moving them to a meeting and back to their cells — “religiously and culturally abhorrent” to Muslims. He portrayed the procedure as unnecessary and intended to “actively discourage” meetings with lawyers.

…the judge, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, rejected those explanations as “yet another exaggerated response” by the military that was “inhibiting petitioners’ access to counsel.”

Maybe this judge should rule on NDAA, the Patriot Act, NSA spying, TSA groping, Obamacare or the multitude of other unconsitutional acts now limiting the rights of American citizens. As noted at Sweetness & Light:

Meanwhile, the rest of us are regularly subjected to groin searches at airports, thanks to these very same (ahem) gentlemen. But Muslim terrorists, who constantly attack their guards, get a free pass.

In fact, doesn’t this mean Muslims can’t even be groin searched at airports? While nuns and grannies will still get the full treatment.

Update: Americans have to pay for the less groping.

And just in time the TSA is claiming there is a new, undetectable underwear bomb being used by al Qaeda, Beware “Underwear 2″: TSA Chief Offers:

“They want to show that we can spend billions and billions of dollars,” Pistole told Ross, “and we still can’t stop them.”

We could stop letting in people from Muslim countries though. Or we could single out with intense scrutiny all travelers to and from Muslim countries. But no, while jihadis at Gitmo can’t be searched, Americans of all ages are terrorized by the TSA – all to stop Muslim terrorists.

bizarroworld

Gitmo terrorist: “The Mistreatment Now is More Severe than During Bush”

It ain’t just at Gitmo son.

The mistreatment now is more severe than during Bush.

Things are getting bad when Islamic terrorists and the ultra far left call out Obama, via Islamo-terror-defender Andy Worthington.

Of course they will say anything to get out of Gitmo and some are getting book deals and Match.com profiles. CNN panders:

US will synchronize force-feeding Gitmo terrorists to Ramadan fast schedule

Your tax dollars hard at work. via Islamic leaders urge Obama to stop force-feeding Gitmo detainees during Ramadan — RT News.

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Last week a spokesperson for the American prison camp confirmed that the fast for Ramadan will be observed by synchronizing the force-feeding of Muslim inmates.

Navy Capt. Robert Durand “reassured” that the facility is sufficiently equipped to synchronize the force-feeding of inmates to the Ramadan fast schedule.

“We understand that observing the daytime fast and taking nothing by mouth or vein is an essential component of Muslim observance of Ramadan,” Durand stated.

“And for those detainees on hunger strike we will ensure that our preservation of life through enteral feeding does not violate the tenets of their faith,” he said adding that those detainees not currently on hunger strike would have their meals scheduled accordingly.

According to the Guantanamo spokesperson, the prison has already “laid in supplies of lamb, dates and honey and zamzam water” (water from a well in Mecca).

This year the fast at the US prison camp will begin at sunset on Monday, July 8 and end on Wednesday, August 7.

Of course Muslim Brotherhood-linked CAIR is complaining.

Related:

Gitmo terrorists get prison’s ‘infidel’ gym replaced

Muslims hiding weapons in Korans at Gitmo, U.S. soldiers can’t search them

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Gitmo terrorists get prison’s ‘infidel’ gym replaced

via ‘Waist’ of money at Guantanamo Bay as detainees get prison’s ‘infidel’ gym replaced – NYPOST.com.

Americans are supposed to have sympathy for the accused terrorist detainees now on hunger strike to protest supposedly cruel conditions at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“I don’t want these individuals to die,” President Obama recently lamented, adding he intends to close Gitmo and transfer the detainees to US prisons.

But just a few years ago, detainees got so plump from overeating hummus and other dishes from the camp’s Islamically correct menu that commanders specially ordered treadmills to help them lose weight.

Then they ordered them again — because they weren’t made by Muslims.

“Even the hunger strikers were gaining weight because of all the food, so we go out and buy all this exercise equipment and throw it in the rec yard,” a Gitmo official said of a 2007 requisition. “Within the first week, there were guys saying, ‘Hey, this stuff is made in the US — made by infidels — and we’re not going to use it.’

“So what did we do?” added the official, who requested anonymity. “We took all of that s–t out, gave it to the soldiers to use, and bought them equipment that was made in a Muslim part of the world.”

The Pentagon declined to comment.

The official called Gitmo detainees “some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet.”

He said they get as many as four choices of halal meals and have access to a new $750,000 soccer field. Islamic prayer beads and rugs are now “standard issue.” They get their choice of more than 10,000 Islamic books and videos stocked by a Muslim librarian, who also records soccer and Arabic TV for them. They even have their own clerics to preach to them in Arabic.

Everyone gets a Koran, paperback or hardback, along with little hammocks to keep their holy book from touching the ground when not in use.

Guards are prohibited from handling the books. The Muslim librarian is “the only one that’s allowed to touch the Korans anymore, per detainee request,” the official said. “If I went into the Koran room and started rifling through a Koran, I could be fired.

But no one gets a Bible, because the Bible could “incite” the terrorists.

Detainees even persuaded prison officials to stop raising the American flag anywhere they could see it.

Gitmo is no longer a prison camp; it’s a state-sponsored madrassa. But that’s not good enough for these inmates. They’re now demanding newer facilities and easier access to lawyers. More are threatening hunger strikes and unrest if they don’t get their way.

So the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150million overhaul to what is already the world’s most costly prison per capita. Each inmate at Gitmo costs roughly $800,000 a year to detain, for a total annual operating budget of more than $170 million.

The military already has approved construction projects, including a new $11 million hospital and medical units for detainees, along with a $10 million “legal meeting complex,” where lawyers and human-rights groups can huddle with detainees.

Mostly, this is politics.

“I know some in the military leadership who are trying to make things more comfortable [for the detainees], but it’s not really about making the detainees more comfortable,” said the official. “It’s about placating the Beltway and making the p.r. war shift in our direction a little bit.”

“A lot of these programs stem from that,” he added.

Click the “Gitmo” link below for more dhimmitude and submission.

Muslims hiding weapons in Korans at Gitmo, U.S. soldiers can’t search them

And apparently a write for the Miami Herald thinks even suggesting Korans would be used to hide contraband is an outrage and is vigorously investigating. via Qurans at crux of Guantánamo hunger strike – Guantánamo – MiamiHerald.com.

A senior Pentagon official said this week that Muslim captives at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have hidden weapons inside their copies of the Quran, a claim the U.S. military has yet to substantiate.

“There have, in the past, been incidents of detainees storing contraband in their Qurans; items found have included improvised weapons, unauthorized food and medicine,” wrote William K. Lietzau, deputy assistant secretary of defense for rule of law and detainee policy.

He made the claim in a one-letter dated April 1 to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York law firm. The firm wrote Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on March 14, seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing hunger strike at the Guantánamo prison, which they said started over a Feb. 2 Quran search and grew to present “a serious threat to the health and life of detainees.”

Lietzau, responding for Hagel, offered a broad defense of Quran search policy and told the lawyers he was “aware of reports that many detainees are engaged in a hunger strike.”

The Miami Herald has been asking the military since mid-March to provide specific details, including photographs, of items found concealed in detainees’ Qurans. n light of the Lietzau letter, The Herald asked additionally for specific incident reports. No details have been provided.

A dispute over Quran searches has been the underlying issue of the hunger strike that lawyers for the captives say is more widespread than the military acknowledges. On Friday, Navy medical staff considered 41 of the 166 detainees to be weak enough or to have lost enough weight to be classified as hunger strikers. Eleven were getting tube feedings of nutritional supplements, the camps said, and no hunger strikers were hospitalized.

Durand said the Quran searches Feb. 2 went this way in Camp 6, the communal camp where the hunger strike started: Guards collected the Qurans without touching them, in what looked like “a postal box,” and then turned them over to a Muslim linguist for inspection. The prison has not said whether that search yielded any contraband.

When Durand was asked for specific examples, he replied with a general statement: “We always find contraband,” he said in an email Wednesday morning. “Every search, every time. From improvised weapons (clubs, shanks, knives, garottes) to hoarded medications to unauthorized electronics (audio/video recorders, games, etc.). Sometimes in the Quran, but every search results in something.”

Carol Rosenberg – one of Gitmo al Qaeda’s leading advocates at the Miami Herald – finds it hard to believe that Muslim terrorists would do such a thing. After all, they are most pious.

Remember the Korans that were incinerated (not burned as reported by the media) in Afghanistan that caused massive rioting and more than 30 deaths including a U.S. teacher and at least six U.S. soldiers all at the hands of Muslims? Those Korans were incinerated because Muslim prisoners desecrated them with their names, stories, communications to other prisoners and outside contacts, and coordinated attack plans on the pages of the supposedly holy books. Yet Obama lied about that too – he said the “burning” was an accident and the U.S. troops were punished.

At Gitmo, where sharia law reigns, U.S. soldiers not only can’t search the Korans, they can’t even TOUCH the Korans paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Sep 11 trial threatened by U.S. govt’s legal wrangling

Eleven years since 9/11 and four years since Obama/Holder took over and the U.S. government has yet to prosecute the 9/11 mastermind who already confessed to being “responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z”. The legal wrangling is 100% internal between U.S. government officials.   via September 11 trial threatened by legal dispute – Telegraph.

The US defence department is at loggerheads with the chief prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay over what the charges should be. The five men, whose pretrial hearings reconvene at the naval base next week, face eight different charges.

However, Brig Gen Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, said the charge of conspiracy should be dropped because it was no longer “legally viable” following a court ruling that conspiracy – a charge that seeks to punish suspects for association with al-Qaeda – was not a recognised war crime under international law. This meant it could not legitimately be brought before a war-crimes tribunal such as Guantánamo.

The ruling by an appeals court in Washington DC overturned the conviction against Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan, and has also undermined the conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, who made al-Qaeda propaganda films.

Gen Martins said retaining the conspiracy charges against the September 11 suspects could leave the prosecution open to “legal challenge” and cause “uncertainty and delay”. However, Guantánamo Bay’s “convening authority” – a branch of the Pentagon – said it would be “premature” to drop the conspiracy charges, hoping that the Supreme Court might reinstate their legality.

Richard Kammen, the lead counsel for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was convicted in Yemen over the bombing of USS Cole but is also facing conspiracy charges at Guantánamo, said the government had seriously undermined Gen Martins’s position as chief prosecutor. “The sub-context of this is, ‘Who’s in charge?’ And to what extent does Gen Martins have any real authority in this case, other than to give speeches?” said Mr Kammen.

He added that preserving the conspiracy charges could open the door to an appeal against all the charges being faced by the September 11 co-conspirators and al-Nashiri. “If one of the main charges was conspiracy, and that was reversed, you would expect the appellate court to recognise that so impacted the rest of the trial that any other conviction would have to be reversed as well,” he said.

Gen Martins has indicated that he plans to press ahead with his request by petitioning the military judge in the September 11 trial to strike out conspiracy as a separate charge.

That would present the judge, Col James Pohl, 61, with the unenviable choice of either denying the requests of both defence and prosecution lawyers, or overruling his court’s own convening authority.

Col Morris Davis, a former Guantánamo chief prosecutor who resigned in 2007 in protest at the Pentagon meddling in the tribunals, said the dispute between two major government departments undermined the credibility of the tribunals.

He suggested that the government was clinging to the conspiracy charges because they were needed in cases against many of the detainees.

“They don’t need conspiracy charges in the major cases like the September 11 attacks, where they are just a safety net or fallback charge,” he said. “The problem is that for a lot of lesser cases, that’s about all you could ever charge with.”

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