Obama frees 9 more Gitmo terrorists, sends to Saudi Arabia

Source: US frees 9 Guantanamo prisoners, sends them to Saudi Arabia

Nine prisoners from Guantanamo Bay have been released and sent to Saudi Arabia for resettlement, the Defense Department announced Saturday.

All nine are Yemeni but have family ties to Saudi Arabia. None of the men had been charged and all but one had been cleared for release from the U.S. base in Cuba since at least 2010. One was approved for release by a review board last year.

They could not be sent to their homeland because of instability there.

The prisoners include a frequent hunger striker whose weight had dropped to as low as 74 pounds (34 kilograms) at one point.

The interagency Guantanao Review Task Force reviewed the cases of all nine prisoners, unanimously approving eight for transfer. The ninth was later approved by another government review board.

“In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States’ intent to transfer these individuals and of the secretary’s determination that these transfers meet the statutory standard,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

“The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the statement read.

The release announced Saturday in a Pentagon statement brings the Guantanamo prisoner population to 80, including 26 cleared men expected to leave by the end of the summer.


One of those released was Abdul Rahman Mohamed Saleh Naser:

S E C R E T / / NOFORN / / 20331015 JTF-GTMO-CDR SUBJECT: 
Recommendation for Transfer Out of DoD Control (TRO) for 
Guantanamo Detainee, ISN US9YM-000115DP (S) detainee may seek
 out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and 
extremist support activities. Since transfer to JTF-GTMO, 
detainee has occasionally expressed animosity towards the US, 
indicating he might engage in future extremist activities. 
Detainee is assessed to be an Islamic extremist who served 
as a fighter in Usama Bin Laden's (UBL) 55th Arab Brigade.1 
Detainee fought against Northern Alliance forces on the front 
lines near Kabul and in northern Afghanistan near Khwaja Ghar. 
Shaykh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, declared a terrorist financier 
by the US in February 2004, recruited detainee in Yemen. 
Detainee's name was found on multiple documents recovered 
from al-Qaida affiliated guesthouses.
More on those released via the NYT:

Ex-Uruguayan President blasts behavior of Gitmo jihadis he imported

As Obama is planting the seeds of jihad around the world, Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica blasts the behavior of six ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguay’s former president says the conduct of six former Guantanamo Bay detainees resettled in the South American nation has been “abysmal” and has hurt efforts to resettle others.

Former President Jose Mujica, who oversaw the resettlement in late 2014, made the comments Tuesday to La Republica newspaper.

Mujica, now a senator, says the men’s behavior discouraged other Latin American countries that were considering taking in former detainees. He didn’t provide details. [Mujica said of their behavior:] “Who did the men hurt? Other Guantanamo prisoners.”

The six men, four from Syria, one Tunisian and one Palestinian, arrived with great fanfare. But they have frequently complained about not getting enough state help while refusing to work. Two of the men married local women only to quickly separate amid domestic abuse allegations.

Obama Releases Two al-Qaeda Bomb Experts from Gitmo to Senegal

via Obama Administration Pushed Release Of ‘High Risk’ Bomb Makers From Guantanamo

The Department of Defense released two al-Qaida bomb experts Monday from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The two Libyan terrorists will go to the custody of the sub-Saharan African country of Senegal.

Salem Abdu Salam Ghereby and Omar Khalif Mohammed Abu Baker Mahjour Umar both had extensive terrorist histories and close ties to top ranking al-Qaida leaders like Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Both hailed from Libya and belonged to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an al-Qaida affiliate.

Ghereby is thought to have fought with bin Laden when U.S.-led coalition forces attacked bin Laden’s compound in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in December 2001. Bin Laden supposedly narrowly escaped capture during the firefight. Ghereby is believed to also have expertise in bomb making and was deemed “high risk” by a Department of Defense (DoD) report when he was captured. Ghereby apparently was not very good at his job, having lost an eye and some fingers during his time as an al-Qaida explosives trainer.

While Ghereby was deemed dangerous to U.S. security, Umar’s security threat is an order of magnitude greater. Not only did he pose a high security risk when caught, analysts at the DoD warned in a review that he would likely seek to continue terrorist activities if released.

“If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee [Umar] would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities,” said the 2008 threat assessment.

Umar was a “long time” close associate of bin Laden, knew al-Zawahiri personally and held a leadership position in LIFG. He is also reported to have known Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the infamous leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, and was responsible for deaths of dozens, if not hundreds, of U.S. military personnel in Iraq during the occupation. According to DoD reports, Umar was also an “explosives and weapons trainer at LIFG and al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.”

The Guantanamo Review Task Force, set up by the Obama administration to review detainees, reiterated the security threat posed by Umar in 2010. Inexplicably, five years later a separate periodic review board found that detaining Umar was “no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.”

The review board’s report said that Umar exhibited apparent good behavior, which included “compliance with camp rules,” mediating disputes between guards and prisoners and his supposed “intent to move forward in a positive manner.” Apparently this was enough to approve the release of a career terrorist who spent decades dedicated to violent jihad.

The case of Umar is not the first time a detainee who was deemed high risk to U.S. security has been released by the Obama administration. According to the Long War Journal, a website which tracks terrorist activity, Umar is the fifth detainee listed as high-risk released from Guantanamo since September 2015. A sixth detainee who was recommended for prosecution by the Guantanamo task force was also released due to the recommendation of the periodic review board.

With the two Libyan terrorists being transferred to Senegal, significant questions remain as to how long they will be detained by the Senegalese government and what kind of security measures will be taken to ensure they do not pose a threat to the U.S. in the future, concerns for which Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook outright refused to provide details.


Meanwhile, via Ayotte Places Hold on DoD Counsel Nominee over Guantanamo Report

Senate Armed Services member Kelly Ayotte has placed a hold on the Defense Department general counsel nominee until the administration shares certain information about the danger of releasing Guantanamo detainees.

“Despite the fact that more than 30 percent of former Guantanamo detainees are known or suspected to have re-engaged in terrorism, and despite recent confirmation that some have even killed Americans, the administration announced the release of two more Gitmo detainees today,” Ayotte said in a statement. “This administration’s continued failure to provide critical information to the American people about terrorist detainees is not only unacceptable — it violates the law.”

Obama releasing a dozen Gitmo terrorists to other countries soon

Obama-Jihadi-Seed

Planting the seeds of jihad in countries all around the world. via Pentagon to send about a dozen Guantanamo inmates to other countries soon – AOL

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – The Pentagon plans to transfer about a dozen inmates of the Guantanamo military prison to at least two countries that have agreed to take them, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, the latest move in President Barack Obama’s final push to close the facility.

The first of the transfers are expected in the next few days and the others will take place in coming weeks, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among them will be Tariq Ba Odah, a Yemeni man who has been on a long-term hunger strike and has lost about half of his body weight.

There are now 91 prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Most have been held without charge or trial for more than a decade, drawing international condemnation.

Obama, who last month presented Congress with a blueprint for closing the prison, is seeking to make good on his long-time pledge before he leaves office in January. But he faces stiff opposition from many Republican lawmakers, as well as some of his fellow Democrats.

The Pentagon has notified Congress of its latest planned transfers from among the 37 detainees already cleared to be sent to their homelands or other countries, the official said. U.S. officials have said they expect to move out all members of that group by this summer.

Obama’s plan for shuttering the facility calls for bringing the several dozen remaining prisoners to maximum-security prison in the United States. But U.S. law bars such transfers to the mainland, and Obama has not ruled out doing so by use of executive action.

“I do not have a timeline on when particular detainees will be transferred from Guantanamo,” Commander Gary Ross, a Defense Department spokesman, said in a statement. “However, the administration is committed to reducing the detainee population and to closing the detention facility responsibly.”

The plan to resettle about a dozen inmates was first reported by the Washington Post. The U.S. official declined to name the countries ready to take them in.

Ten Yemeni men were sent to Oman in January. Others were recently sent to Ghana, Bosnia and Montenegro. The Obama administration has ruled out sending Yemenis, who make up the bulk of the remaining prisoners, to their homeland because it is engulfed in civil war and has an active Al Qaeda branch.


Meanwhile, More Ex-Gitmo detainees suspected of returning to terrorism

The number of former Guantánamo Bay detainees suspected of re-engaging in terrorism or insurgency after being released by President Obama doubled from six to 12 in the six months through January, according to data released Tuesday by the administration.

Critics of Obama’s plan to close the Guantánamo detention facility are certain to use the new totals to bolster their arguments that the recidivism rate is too high to continue releasing prisoners to foreign countries.

Of the 144 detainees released under Obama, the number now confirmed to be back in the fight is seven, according to the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The number of Obama-era releases suspected of re-engaging is now 12.

In addition, one more former detainee who was released under President George W. Bush is now suspected of rejoining the fight.

Overall, 118 of the 676 prisoners released under both presidents are confirmed to have participated in terrorism, while another 86 are suspected.

Gitmo jihadist released to Spain arrested in raid on Islamic State

A Spanish court also freed the jihadist. via: Spanish Police Raid Islamic State Cell in North Africa, Arrest Former Guantanamo Prisoner

Aided by Moroccan police, Spanish counterterrorism units broke up a jihadist cell in North Africa Tuesday, arresting four suspected members of the cell including a former Guantanamo inmate, wanted for recruiting terrorists for the Islamic State.

According to separate statements from the Interior Ministries of both countries, the four arrests comprised three Spanish citizens who were seized in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, and one Moroccan national, who was taken in the Moroccan city of Nador.

The Moroccan statement identified one of the Spanish detainees in as a former Guantanamo prisoner who had fought with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but did not provide his name or information about his departure from the US detention center in Cuba.

Spanish authorities described the man as a “leader trained in handling weapons, explosives and military tactics,” which rendered the cell “particularly dangerous.” After being captured in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo, the man was returned to Spain in 2004, according to Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz.

The Spanish daily El País identified the ex-Guantanamo inmate as Hamed Abderraman Ahmed, who had been arrested by the U.S. military during an operation against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In 2006, Spanish police arrested eleven people in a large scale operation in Ceuta against an alleged Islamic jihadist cell. Some 300 National Police are reported to have taken part in the operation. Among the arrested men were two brothers of Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed.

Another of those arrested in Ceuta Tuesday is the brother of a fighter who carried out a suicide attack in 2013 against the Syrian army.

The four formed a group trying to recruit fighters to join the ranks of the militia of the radical Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, in addition to insurgents willing to carry out attacks in Spain and Morocco, the Spanish statement said.

Moreover, the alleged jihadists had “the clear intent and full disposition to carry out terrorist acts in Spanish territory,” the Ministry reported, adding that the men had entered into contact with a series of individuals who could supply them with weapons and materials to build explosives.

The three arrests in Spanish Ceuta bring the total of those arrested this year in Spain for links to jihadist terrorism to nine.

On February 7, six people were arrested in the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Ceuta as alleged members of a jihadist cell that sent weapons, military equipment and money to terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, such as Jahbat al-Nusra and Islamic State, disguised as humanitarian aid.

During the course of 2015, the Spanish police arrested some 100 suspected Islamic extremists, and more than 600 since the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people and left 2,000 injured.

Responsibility for the 2004 attacks, the most serious and lethal terrorist acts in Spain’s history, was claimed by the jihadist group Al-Qaeda.


He was released under Bush. via Wikipedia (sorry):

In 2004 the United States allowed his extradition to Spain to face terrorism charges, based on confessions made while in US custody. Spanish authorities alleged that Abderrahman Ahmad was a member of a Spanish al-Qaeda cell. Ahmad was convicted of those charges by the High Court in 2005 and sentenced to six years in prison. Review of the case in an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court resulted in the conviction being overturned in July 2006, as based on evidence that may have been obtained through torture by American interrogators.


Related: Ex-Gitmo Warden Slams Obama’s Release of Detainees – ‘He Has Thrown National Security Out the Window’

Obama Gitmo Releasee Promptly Becomes al Qaeda’s New ‘Front Man’

15-12-08-ibrahim-qosi-1024x431

Ibrahim al Qosi, a senior AQAP leader and spokesman, freed by Barrack Obama

Source: Obama Admin Freed al Qaeda’s New ‘Front Man’ From Gitmo

The Obama administration is coming under pressure to explain why it cleared for release a former Guantanamo Bay prison camp inmate who has become a senior Al Qaeda operative since being released from American custody.

Ibrahim al Qosi, a former Gitmo inmate who the Obama administration released to Sudan in 2012 after clearing him as a low-level risk, has recently reemerged as a top leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to congressional leaders.

The Obama administration has released as many as 37 inmates from Guantanamo since 2015 as it pursues an effort to shut the prison down; as many as 17 detainees were freed in January alone. Fewer than 100 inmates remain imprisoned at the facility.

Al Qosi’s appearance in a new series of al Qaeda propaganda videos has prompted backlash on Capitol Hill from lawmakers who accuse the administration of not properly vetting inmates as it rushes to shutter Gitmo.

“The transfer of terror detainee Ibrahim al Qosi from Gitmo to the Sudanese government has resulted in a new frontman for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and reminds us that no facility in the world can detain terrorists as securely as Guantanamo,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday.

The administration needs to explain why they would transfer al Qosi and two other known terrorists to Sudan, a state sponsor of terror,” Kirk said.

Senior Pentagon officials have admitted to Congress that at least 30 percent of the detainees freed from Gitmo have rejoined terrorist groups.

It is illegal for the Obama administration to transfer any Gitmo detainees into the United States, according to measures included by Kirk and other lawmakers in the 2016 omnibus spending bill. The administration also is barred from constructing any facility on U.S. soil meant to house these inmates.


More:  Ex-Guantanamo detainee prominently featured in al Qaeda propaganda

Ex-Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim al Qosi has become a prominent fixture in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) propaganda since early December, when he first revealed that he is a senior leader in the group. Qosi most recently delivered a two-part critique of the Saudi monarchy, entitled “A Message to Our People in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques.”

Qosi begins his nearly 50-minute lecture, which was posted online on Feb. 6, by denouncing the Saudi government’s execution of more than 40 “mujahideen” in January. The men were killed, he says, because they declared jihad against the “Crusaders” and opposed American interests around the globe.

Qosi then discusses al Qaeda’s jihad against the Saudi regime, saying Osama bin Laden was motivated by America’s supposed “occupation” of Arabia’s two holiest sanctuaries.

Qosi was transferred from Guantanamo to his home country of Sudan in July 2012. His first public appearance as an al Qaeda leader came in a video, “Guardians of Sharia,” which was released online by AQAP in early December.

In addition to praising the AQIM-Al Murabitoon joint venture, Qosi reaffirmed AQAP’s pledge of allegiance (bayat) to Taliban emir Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour and swore to Zawahiri (whom he referred to as “our sheikh”) that AQAP would continue to wage jihad on all fronts.

Qosi also eulogized Abu al Hasan al Bulaydi, a senior AQIM sharia official, in a video released in late December. He lamented Bulaydi’s death as a “great tragedy” and threatened the West.

As The Long War Journal has previously reported, al Qaeda has relocated part of its global management team from South Asia to Yemen. Therefore, some jihadists have been both AQAP leaders and managers in al Qaeda’s global network. It is possible that Qosi, who served directly under Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, is serving in that capacity today.

Obama releases al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives expert to Bosnia

Hussein Obama continues spreading the seeds of jihad all around the world. Obama-Jihadi-Seed

Source: Obama releases al Qaeda’s most skilled explosives expert – Washington Times

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 tough 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.


Much more at Long War Journal, including this:

…he allegedly designed a shoe bomb that “technically matches the designs of the shoe bomb used by failed suicide operative Richard Reid” in December 2001, according to a leaked Sept. 30, 2008 Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment. He also constructed a limpet mine that could sink a US naval vessel.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55,524 other followers

%d bloggers like this: