Two former Gitmo prisoners arrested in Belgium on terror charges

via Two former Gitmo detainees arrested in Belgium – CNNPolitics.com.

Two former detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba were arrested by Belgian police in a counterterrorism operation targeting a recruiting network for al Qaeda in Syria.

They were arrested Wednesday night along with three others as they were about to break into a house to raise funds in the town of Hoboken, near Antwerp, a senior Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN.

“We have dismantled a serious recruiting network for Syria,” the official told CNN.

One of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees was Moussa Zemmouri, 37, a Moroccan national born in Antwerp, Belgian federal prosecutors announced Friday. The other was an Algerian identified as Soufiane A., who prosecutors believe spent time in Syria.

Both have been charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist group and all five have been charged with attempted armed robbery.

Zemmouri was released from Guantanamo in 2005 and authored a book “Innocent at Guantanamo” after returning to Belgium. His case was featured prominently by the UK Muslim prisoner advocacy group CAGE, which has long maintained that he has no links to terrorism.

According to a 2003 detainee assessment file posted by the WikiLeaks website, Zemmouri was transferred to U.S. custody after he was detained by Pakistani police when fleeing Afghanistan after the beginning of the U.S. bombing campaign in autumn 2001.

The document alleged he had trained in the al Qaeda-sponsored Derunta training camp in Khost, Afghanistan. It said “sensitive reporting also indicates that detainee is a high-ranking member of the Theological Commission of the Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group (MIFG).”

According to the Belgian official, Zemmouri was put under observation after his return to Belgium. Belgian security services suspect he provided theological encouragement to several former members of the al Qaeda affiliated MIFG who left to fight jihad in Syria after they completed prison sentences in Belgian jails.

The official said there was no indication the group was plotting an attack in Belgium.

Efforts to immediately reach an attorney for Zemmouri were unsuccessful.

Belgian officials know of the identity of more than 300 extremists who have traveled from Belgium to join jihadi groups in Syria.


Meanwhile, Obama in ‘final stages’ of planning Gitmo closing.

Canada Frees Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed US Army Sgt.

via Gitmo Terrorist Who Killed Army Sgt., Lived at Bin Laden Compound Freed in Canada – Judicial Watch

An Al Qaeda terrorist guilty of murdering a U.S. Army sergeant and “transferred” from Guantanamo to Canada by the Obama administration has been released from an Alberta prison while he appeals his conviction for war crimes.

His name is Omar Ahmed Khader and he’s a member of Canada’s “first family of terror,” according to an international news report that confirms Khader’s father was an associate of Osama Bin Laden who moved his family to Pakistan to support the Afghan mujahideen in its war against the Soviet Union. In 2010 Khader was convicted of five war crimes, including throwing a grenade that killed Army Sergeant Christopher Speer in Afghanistan during a 2002 combat operation.

Khader spent around a decade at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in 2010 cut a deal to serve the majority of his sentence in Canada. Under the terms, he admitted being an “alien unprivileged enemy belligerent” and throwing the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer. In 2012 Khader was taken to Canada, where he evidently began working on an appeal. This month a Canadian judge ordered the release of the jihadist while he appeals his U.S. convictions. Canadian government officials argue that the judge has no jurisdiction to hear the unprecedented bail application from an offender convicted abroad and returned to Canada, according to a national news story.

The bottom line is that this terrorist, like so many others who have returned to jihadist causes after leaving Gitmo, never should have been released. To meet his longtime goal of closing Gitmo President Obama has tried clearing out the military compound that still houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. In December Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government put an Al Qaeda operative that had been freed from Gitmo on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists who have been discharged over the years—under a program that started with President George W. Bush—have reengaged in terrorism. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years based on U.S. intelligence sources. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we must worry that yet another radical extremist who hates America is on the loose, in a friendly neighboring country where cross border travel is quite easy. Khader was encouraged by his father, a senior Al Qaeda leader in Canada, to travel to Khowst Afghanistan to translate for Al Qaeda personnel and participate in jihad against the United States, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) file kept by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo. “Detainee received training and instruction on how to build and plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and how to plant land mines,” the DOD file says. It also reveals that Khader “admitted to taking part in several mining and combat operations” and that he was present during a 2002 raid on a suspected Al Qaeda compound by U.S. Special Forces. “Detainee was wounded and captured after killing the USSF soldier,” the DOD writes.

Khader has direct family affiliations with senior Al Qaeda members, the Pentagon file states, and his entire family lived at one of Osama bin Laden’s compounds in Jalalabad Afghanistan. The U.S. government considered him to be a detainee of “high intelligence value” who provided important information on the Derunta, Al-Farouq and Khalden training camps as well as key Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. The U.S. let Khader go even though it had labeled him a “high risk” enemy combatant “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interest or its allies.”


More on Khadr and his jihadist family: Continue reading

Canada: Judge grants bail to ex-Gitmo jihadi who killed American soldier

Videos below. via Alberta judge grants Omar Khadr bail | Toronto Star.

A Canadian judge has granted Omar Khadr bail, offering the former Guantanamo Bay detainee his first taste of freedom after more than 12 years in custody.

Alberta Justice June Ross released her verdict Friday, a month after Khadr appeared in an Edmonton court appealing for bail while his Guantanamo conviction is being challenged in a Washington court.

“He has 12 ½ year track record as a model prisoner, and a release plan supported by educators, mental health professionals, and his lawyers,” Ross wrote.

“This is a circumstance where balancing a strong appeal and the public confidence in the administration of justice favour the same result.”

Khadr’s longtime Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney, along with his wife Patricia, has offered to have Khadr live with them and provide whatever community supervision he may require.

A large community group in Edmonton — from imams and medical professionals, to professors at a Christian university where Khadr has been offered admission — has rallied around the 28-year-old.

Edney and lawyer Nathan Whitling, who argued the bail application, said they were delighted by the news. “Omar is fortunate to be back in Canada where we have real courts and real laws,” said Whitling.

Added Edney about Khadr’s release, “it has been a long time coming.”

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney issued a statement saying he was “disappointed” by the decision and that the federal government plans to appeal. Ottawa could argue that Khadr must remain in custody until that appeal is heard.

“Our Government will continue to work to combat the international jihadi movement, which has declared war on Canada and her allies,” Blaney wrote.

A hearing will be held May 5 to determine the conditions of Khadr’s bail.

Khadr is currently held at Bowden Institute, in Innisfail, Alta. and has spent nearly half his life in custody. He was shot and captured in 2002, at the age of 15, during a firefight with American and Afghan soldiers. During the battle, U.S. Delta Forces soldier Christopher Speer was fatally wounded with a grenade.

The Pentagon charged Khadr with five offences under the Military Commissions Act (MCA), which were written years after Khadr’s alleged crimes.

Khadr’s U.S. lawyer is arguing that the Pentagon should not have retroactively prosecuted Khadr since killing a soldier in conflict was not a war crime until the Bush administration rewrote the laws of war after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In 2010, Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed Speer as part of a Pentagon plea deal that allowed him to return to Canada to serve the remainder of his eight-year sentence. He later said he could not remember the firefight and only pleaded guilty because he felt it was his “only hope” to get out of Guantanamo.


More on Khadr and his jihadist family:

Facts about Omar Khadr that the mainstream media won’t to tell you

More: Media whitewashing of Canadian jihadist Omar Khadr (video).

 

bin Laden Bodyguard Cleared for Release from Gitmo

via Herridge: Possible Bin Laden Bodyguard Cleared for Release From Gitmo.

A terror suspect who was once profiled as Usama bin Laden’s bodyguard is a step closer to leaving Guantanamo Bay.

Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported the latest details this morning on the case of 36-year-old Yemeni foot soldier Saeed Sarem Jarabh.

Jarabh was captured in 2002 as he fled the mountains of Tora Bora in Afghanistan, where bin Laden was believed to be hiding out after the 9/11 attacks.

Now, a federal parole board has cleared Jarabh to be transferred out of Gitmo, calling him a “low-level” fighter.

He had previously been classified as a “forever detainee,” meaning he was deemed too dangerous for release, but evidence for prosecution was insufficient.

According to Herridge, analysts believe the Obama administration is now accepting more risk that detainees will return to terror activities as it ramps up its efforts to further empty the prison and shut it down before the president leaves office.

The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently testified to Congress that the terror recidivism rate is at 18% among Guantanamo transfers in the last 4-5 years.

She said in almost all of the recent transfers, there have been no meaningful restrictions on the freed detainees once they arrive in a third country.

Herridge said about 122 detainees are left at Gitmo, with 50 cleared for transfer. The administration, she reports, is said to be trying to reduce the population under 100 so the remaining detainees can be moved to a U.S. federal prison.


 

Meanwhile, abandoned by the U.S., lawyer for doctor who helped CIA in bin Laden hunt killed in Pakistan.

The lawyer had represented Dr. Shakeel Afridi, who was convicted of treason in 2012 by a Pakistani tribal court and is now serving a 23-year prison sentence.

Unidentified gunmen attacked the lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, in his car near the city of Peshawar on Tuesday, said Mian Saeed, a police superintendent in Peshawar.

Two different militant groups claimed responsibility for the killing.

116 released Gitmo terrorists returned to jihad, trend likely to continue

Obama-Jihadi-Seed

via Released Gitmo prisoners return to evil ways: report | New York Post.

WASHINGTON — More than 100 prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay went right back to being terrorists when they got out, according to a new report.

Out of 647 detainees who were released, 116 — or 18 percent — have been confirmed as “re-engaging” in terrorism, according to the report by the Director of National Intelligence.

Of those, 25 are dead and 23 are back behind bars.

Another 11 percent of those released are “suspected” of re-engaging in their jihadi ways, according to the annual summary that is required by Congress.

The trend is likely to continue, even as President Obama works to clear out the prison he has vowed to close.

The report predicts that prisoners still in custody will follow a similar path when they get out.

“Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” said the report.

Modal TriggerTransfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as active recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations pose particular problems.”

Oh, and Obama quietly snuck two more out last month:

Last month, the administration dispatched prisoners to Oman and Estonia.

 

Gitmo adviser: Holder allowed Pentagon to break law, bypass Congress to swap 5 terrorists for U.S. Army deserter

Impeach or arrest them all. And rid the Pentagon of those who continue to break the oath they took.

President Barack Obama Gives a Statement Regarding The Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by The Taliban

via Guantanamo adviser: DOJ allowed Pentagon to bypass Congress in Taliban-Bergdahl swap

Eric Holder’s Justice Department green-lighted the decision not to notify Congress — as required by law — before the Pentagon traded five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year, the Obama administration’s point person on Guantanamo Bay policy testified Thursday.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, defense official Brian McKeon was questioned on what is still a sore spot for many members of Congress: that the administration went forward with the Taliban-Bergdahl swap without giving Congress the typically required 30-day notification.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., asked McKeon why Congress was not informed, “as per the statutes.”

McKeon said he understands the Department of Justice and the department’s general counsel “interpreted the president’s powers because of the security risks and safety of Sergeant Bergdahl necessitated proceeding without the 30-day notice.”

The rationale squares with what administration officials claimed last year — that congressional notification could have risked jeopardizing the fast-moving negotiations to secure Bergdahl’s freedom.

But lawmakers have challenged that call ever since.

Meanwhile, McKeon made clear at Thursday’s hearing that the push to close Guantanamo Bay’s prison camp is moving forward, despite lawmakers’ lingering security concerns — most recently, over a member of the “Taliban 5″ apparently trying to make contact with the Taliban, while under supervision in Qatar.

McKeon stressed that the administration considers it a national security priority to close the camp, in part because it is used by extremists to incite violence.

He pointed to the recent execution of Jordanian and Japanese hostages by Islamic State terrorists. He said it is “no coincidence” that the videos showed the victims — one of whom was burned alive, the other of whom was beheaded — in orange jumpsuits, like those once worn by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Such jumpsuits were also worn at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Republicans, though, argue that terrorists would find reasons to attack the West regardless, and certainly did so before Guantanamo was in operation.


That argument can be made and supported by historical facts. Muslims have been attempting to conquer the world for 1,400 years.

McKeon failed to mention that it’s no coincidence that what he refers to as extremist violence is carried out by Muslims in the name of Allah.

Bergdahl is one of them.

berg-tweet

 

 

 

Days after al Qaeda in Yemen claims Paris massacre, Obama releases Yemeni jihadis from Gitmo

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via Blog: Obama releases five ‘violent extremists’ from Gitmo.

The army of Allah received some reinforcements last night, as President Obama’s plan to close the Guantánamo Bay terrorist detention center moved forward. Five Yemeni “detainees” captured in Pakistan were released, leaving 122 left in the Cuba camp.  Four will go to Oman, and one will shiver in Estonia until the spring comes.  Both nations are welcoming their first Gitmo alumni.  Felicia Schwartz of the WSJ reports:

The Pentagon said detainee Akhmed Abdul Qadir was transferred to Estonia, while four others were transferred to Oman. They included Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammad Al Yafi, Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati, and Mohammed Ahmed Salam.

Experience teaches that 30% of those released from Gitmo will return to the battlefield, so 1-2 warriors will return to battle the infidel, perhaps killing Americans.  But this does not seem to matter to President Obama or most members of his political party.

As Gateway Pundit notes:

One week after the Paris terrorist attacks Barack Obama has decided to release five more Yemeni Guantanamo terrorists.

Al Qaeda in Yemen took credit for the Paris attacks in a video released Wednesday.

And the steady stream of releases as Judicial Watch reports: Freed Gitmo Captive Opens ISIS Base in Afghanistan

…news reports confirm that a Gitmo alum who once led a Taliban unit has established the first Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) base in Afghanistan.

His name is Mullah Abdul Rauf and international and domestic media reports say he’s operating in Helmand province, actively recruiting fighters for ISIS. Citing local sources, a British newspaper writes that Rauf set up a base and is offering good wages to anyone willing to fight for the Islamic State. Rauf was a corps commander during the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule of Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports. After getting captured by U.S. forces, he was sent to Gitmo in southeast Cuba but was released in 2007.

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