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.

Pentagon Sends Obama Plan to Close Gitmo, Move Jihadis to US Soil

Source: Pentagon Sends Obama Plan to Close Guantanamo, Move Detainees to US – Defense One

Hours after 10 percent of the remaining detainees leave Cuba, the defense secretary said he’s handed the president a plan for “Gitmo North.”

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has at last sent President Barack Obama a plan to close the U.S. military detention center in Cuba and move remaining detainees to a U.S. alternative.

“Not everyone in GTMO can be safely transferred to another country, so we need an alternative,” Carter said Thursday in Miami. “I have therefore framed for the president a proposal to establish an alternative location. That plan will propose bringing those detainees to an appropriate, secure location in the United States.”

Carter’s plan presents a list of potential options for where on U.S. soil the Pentagon would put the “worst of the worst” Guantanamo detainees, but does not recommend a specific site.

A senior administration official said on condition of anonymity that the president’s national security team is in the “final stages of reviewing the proposal,” submitted by the Pentagon this month. “No specific site is selected for potential detention in the United States,” the official said.

Hours before Carter spoke, the Pentagon transferred 10 Yemeni detainees to Oman, trimming the population of Guantanamo by about 10 percent. Now 93 detainees remain, the first time the total has been under 100 since 2002, shortly after the prison opened. Three more remain to be transferred to fulfill the Obama administration’s announcement that 17 would leave in early 2016.

Administration officials believe that cutting Guantanamo’s population to under 100 individuals would mollify lawmakers who have blocked any transfers to U.S. soil.

But opponents have made clear they’ll continue their opposition. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said in a Wednesday statement in response to reports of the latest transfer: “Any Obama administration decision to transfer a large number of Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo to Oman would represent a thinly veiled attempt to undercut the will of Congress and would further endanger the American people.”

The Obama administration has been working on the closure plan since last year, but the Pentagon has repeatedly delayed its delivery to Congress; first, to allow the Defense Department to survey potential sites, and again when the plan was determined to be too costly, undermining the White House’s argument that closing Guantanamo would save money.

Carter spoke Thursday at the change of command ceremony for U.S. Southern Command, where retiring Gen. John Kelly has overseen Guantanamo for three years. At the Pentagon last week, Kelly told Defense One, “Bombing the living shit out of ISIS in Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria, that would maybe irritate them more than the fact we have Guantanamo open.” For terrorist groups and rights activists alike, he said, “What tends to bother them is the fact that we’re holding them there indefinitely without trial … it’s not the point that it’s Gitmo. If we send them, say, to a facility in the U.S., we’re still holding them without trial.”

In his final State of the Union, Obama vowed to keep pushing to close Guantanamo: “It’s expensive, it’s unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies.”

But when asked before the address if Congress would prevent the president from shuttering the detention center, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “I sure hope so … it’s the perfect place for terrorists.”

More on Obama’s repatriation of jihadists: Guantánamo Detainee Freed Monday Said He Would ‘Kill Americans’ if Released

With the Monday announcement, Al-Shamrani became the fourth Guantánamo detainee released in 2016. U.S. officials determined him to be a “high risk” for recidivism, warning he would likely re-engage against the West should he be released from the detention facility. He also allegedly told guards at the facility that he would “kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan if released,” according to his leaked confidential file.

On January 6th, Al Qaeda-linked detainees Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalif Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were released from the Guantánamo Bay detention center. On January 8, Faez Ahmed Al-Kandari, another Al Qaeda-linked detainee who was suspected of working as a jihadi recruiter and expert propagandist, was released.

The four men are part of a group of 13 more detainees that that the administration will likely be released by the end of this month, according to reports.

According to leaked military documents, Al-Shimrani is an Al Qaeda recruiter who may have served as one of Osama bin Laden’s personal bodyguards. He was deemed to pose a “high risk” against the United States.

“If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law-abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities at home and abroad,” said part of his file.

If Gitmo is a recruitment brochure imagine what Gitmo North on the U.S. mainland will be – particularly for the millions of Muslim settlers living in the U.S.

If you are in one of these three states you better bring your A-game. Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina targeted to house Gitmo terrorists.

Obama sends ‘High risk’ Gitmo detainee to Kuwait

Where a Kuwaiti sent home in 2005 turned up in Mosul, Iraq in 2008 as a suicide bomber, killing at least seven Iraqis.

Source: ‘High risk’ Guantanamo detainee transferred to Kuwait | The Long War Journal

The Defense Department announced today that Fayez al Kandari, who was detained at Guantanamo since 2002, has been transferred to his home country of Kuwait.

The Pentagon cited a Sept. 8, 2015 decision by the Periodic Review Board (PRB) as justification for Kandari’s transfer. The PRB “determined that continued law of war detention of [Kandari] does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.” Therefore, the review board recommended that Kandari be transferred and the Pentagon complied.Fayez al Kandari gitmo jihadist

But the PRB did not determine that Kandari was an innocent who was wrongly detained. Nor did the PRB argue that Kandari should be outright released. Instead, the board recommended “the implementation” of a “comprehensive set of security measures…including monitoring, travel restrictions, and continued information sharing.”

These “security assurances” are necessary because US officials have repeatedly warned that Kandari is a threat.

As The Long War Journal has reported in the past, US military and intelligence officials compiled an extensive dossier on Kandari. Declassified and leaked files, as well as a district court ruling, indicate that US intelligence analysts suspect Kandari helped recruit an al Qaeda cell responsible for killing a US Marine on the Faylaka Island in Kuwait in October 2002.

Indeed, US authorities recommended against transferring Kandari on at least three occasions in the past. And a district court denied Kandari’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding that his claim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in Afghanistan in 2001 was simply not credible.

A “high risk”

In a leaked threat assessment, dated April 15, 2008, Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed Kandari a “high risk,” who is “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.” JTF-GTMO’s analysts recommended that Kandari remain in the Defense Department’s custody, finding that he was a “committed member of al Qaeda who served as [an] advisor and confidant to” Osama bin Laden.

Kandari “has numerous connections to senior al Qaeda members and was an influential religious figure for al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan,” JTF-GTMO found. He also allegedly “provided ideological training to al Qaeda trainees” and acted as a “propagandist” on behalf of the terrorist group.

President Obama’s own interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force agreed that Kandari should not be transferred or released.

In its final report, released in January 2010, the task force wrote that there were 48 detainees who “were determined to be too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution.” Kandari was one of them. Obama’s task force recommended that Kandari be held in “[c]ontinued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war.”

Nine months later, in September 2010, a district court judge denied Kandari’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Kandari’s claim to have been a mere charity worker in Afghanistan prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was “implausible” and “not credible.” [See LWJ report, Judge finds that Kuwaiti Gitmo detainee was no charity worker.]

According to Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s decision, Kandari fled to the Tora Bora Mountains in late 2001. Kandari admitted that he “was given a Kalishnikov rifle and taught how to use it.” He also “met and associated with various members and high-level leaders of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated enemy forces” in Tora Bora. Given that Kandari admittedly was armed at Tora Bora, shown how to use the weapon, and met with senior al Qaeda terrorists, Judge Kollar-Kotelly found it was unreasonable to assume that Kandari accidentally found his way into the mountains at precisely the same time that al Qaeda’s forces were battling in the area.

A Periodic Review Board (PRB) heard Kandari’s case in 2014 as well, but came to precisely the opposite conclusion of the one cited by the Defense Department today. Kandari’s continued detention “remains necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States,” the PRB wrote in an unclassified summary of its decision, which was released in July 2014. [See LWJ report, Kuwaiti Gitmo detainee should remain in US custody, review board finds.]

The differences between the PRB’s decisions in 2014 and 2015 are striking. In 2014, the review board concluded that Kandari “almost certainly retains an extremist mindset and had close ties with high-level al Qaeda leaders in the past.”

In 2015, however, the PRB claimed that Kandari had “demonstrated a willingness to examine his religious beliefs and engaged more openly with the Board.” The PRB “noted [Kandari’s] willingness to engage with Kuwaiti officials and rehabilitation center staff members, comply with security requirements, and disassociate with negative influences since his last hearing.”

The PRB did not explain further why Kandari, a committed jihadist since before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, should be believed with respect to his supposed “willingness” to re-examine his “religious beliefs.”

The PRB also did an about-face when it comes to Kuwait’s ability to mitigate the “threat” Kandari poses.

In 2014, the PRB “noted a lack of history regarding the efficacy of the rehabilitation program Kuwait will implement for a detainee with [Kandari’s] particular mindset, but appreciates the efforts of the Kuwaiti government and encourages the officials at the Al Salam Rehabilitation Center to continue to work with [Kandari] at Guantanamo.”

But in 2015 the PRB “determined [Kandari’s] threat can be adequately mitigated by the Kuwaiti government’s commitment to require and maintain [Kandari’s] participation in a rehabilitation program and to implement robust security measures to include monitoring and travel restrictions.”

It remains to be seen which one of the PRB’s decisions proves to be more prescient.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for The Long War Journal.

Fourteen more releases are expected throughout the month, as well as more parole board decisions that could clear more so-called “forever prisoners” for transfer.

Obama to release 17 more Gitmo jihadists


…so they can rejoin the worldwide jihad. via Obama to release 17 more Gitmo detainees

President Obama, acting on a long-running promise he made to voters during both his campaigns, is set to release another 17 detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

The New York Times reported Defense Secretary Ash Carter signed off on the deal with a notification to Congress about the “proposed transfers of lower-level detainees,” according to one official cited anonymously by the newspaper.

Congress, meanwhile, told Carter to make sure the detainees due for release aren’t violating any security standards.

As the New York Times reported: “Obama wants to close the Guantanamo prison in Cuba before he leaves office in a little over a year. His administration has stepped up efforts to find countries to take 48 detainees on a transfer list and moved to speed up the work of a parole-like board that might approve the release of others who are currently recommended for indefinite detention.”

As the Weekly Standard reported, these 17 releases would be the largest number set free from Gitmo in a single group since 2007.

Critics have blasted Obama’s release of detainees, saying it’s a massive security risk to America given reports of some returning to the battlefield in their own countries, and taking up terrorism calls against the United States. As WND previously reported, one of the Gitmo detainees who was released on 2010 by Obama has emerged in the war on terror as a leader of an al-Qaida branch in Yemen.

Need we remind readers: REPORT: Obama broke the law with Bergdahl trade


Gitmo detainee released by Obama now al Qaeda leader in Yemen

Source: Ex-Guantanamo detainee now an al Qaeda leader in Yemen | The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani.

In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.

Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.”

Islamic scholars ensure the “correctness” of the “jihadist project,” according to Qosi. And the war against America continues through “individual jihad,” which al Qaeda encourages from abroad. Here, Qosi referred to al Qaeda’s policy of encouraging attacks by individual adherents and smaller terror cells. Indeed, AQAP’s video celebrates jihadists who have acted in accordance with this call, such as the Kouachi brothers, who struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris earlier this year. The Kouachi brothers’ operation was sponsored by AQAP.

The al Qaeda veterans shown in the video emphasized the importance of following the advice of recognized jihadist ideologues. Although AQAP’s men do not mention the Islamic State by name, they clearly have Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s group in mind. Al Qaeda has criticized the Islamic State for failing to follow the teachings of widely respected jihadist authorities, most of whom reject the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s self-declared “caliphate.”

Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files documented Qosi’s extensive al Qaeda dossier. In the threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts described Qosi as a “high” risk to the US and its allies.

“Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released,” JTF-GTMO found.

Read it all.

Days after Paris jihad, Obama releases 5 Gitmo terrorists to UAE

All so-called Syrian refugees should be sent to the UAE or other Muslim nations, not to the U.S.


Source: 5 Yemeni Guantánamo Inmates Are Sent to United Arab Emirates – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense announced on Sunday that it had transferred five lower-level Yemeni detainees from the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba to the United Arab Emirates. The United States had held each for nearly 14 years as wartime prisoners, and none had been charged with a crime.

The transfers reduced the detainee population at the prison to 107. As many as 17 other proposed transfers of lower-level detainees are in the bureaucratic pipeline, an official familiar with internal deliberations said.

The resettlement of the Yemeni detainees was the first of its kind to the United Arab Emirates, which had previously taken in just one former Guantánamo detainee, in 2008 — its own citizen.

Each of the five detainees was captured near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in late 2001, after the battle of Tora Bora, when many low-level fighters fled to the mountains, according to leaked military dossiers.

The transferred detainees included three men who had been recommended for transfer by a 2009 task force made up of six security-related agencies. Those detainees are Khalid Abd Jal Jabbar Muhammad Juthman al Qadasi, Sulaiman Awath Sulaiman Bin Ageel al Nahdi and Fahmi Salem Said al Sani.

There were also two men whom the task force recommended for continuing detention but whose status was later changed to transferable by a parolelike board. They are Ali Ahmad Muhammad al Rahizi and Adil Said al Haj Obeid al Busayss.

The Obama administration is expected to send Congress a plan soon to close the Guantánamo prison. The centerpiece of that plan is expected to be a provision to move to a prison in the United States the 59 remaining detainees who are not recommended for transfer. A statute passed by Congress currently bars the military from bringing any detainees onto domestic soil.

As we noted last week, Obama continues plotting ways to resettle the remaining Gitmo terrorists. Kansas, Colorado and South Carolina top the shortlist.

For long-time readers, recall that then Attorney General Eric Holder planned a clandestine resettlement of Gitmo terrorists in Virginia but was caught red-handed and shut down.

Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina targeted to house Gitmo terrorists

And when they are freed, they will be freed in your backyards. via Pentagon to release Guantanamo detainee relocation plan, as Obama pressed ahead with closure

The Pentagon is expected to release a plan next week on President Obama’s years-long effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center that suggests a Colorado prison dubbed “the Alcatraz of the Rockies” as one suitable site to relocate expected life-long detainees, Obama administration officials say.

However, critics of the promise, including many Republicans, fear transferring detainees to the U.S. mainland as part of an overall closure plan poses too much of a homeland security risk. They also say the president has yet to submit a closure plan and have been critical of the administration recently allowing some known terrorists to return to the Middle East.

The Florence, Colo., prison is among seven U.S. facilities in Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina being considered.

The Pentagon plan represents a last-gasp effort by the administration to convince staunch opponents in Congress that dangerous detainees who can’t be transferred safely to other countries should be housed in a U.S.-based prison.

 The United States opened the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to get suspected terrorists off the battlefield.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week that the administration is trying “very hard” to transfer 53 more detainees, among the 112 remaining, before the end of the year.

The rest are either facing trial by military commission or the government has determined that they are too dangerous to release but are not facing charges.

Any decision to select a U.S. facility would require congressional approval — something U.S. lawmakers say is unlikely. However, Earnest also suggested that Obama has not ruled out the possibility of using an executive order to close the facility.

A Pentagon assessment team reviewed the sites in recent months and detailed their advantages and disadvantages. They include locations, costs for renovations and construction, the ability to house troops and hold military commission hearings, and health care facilities.

Colorado’s Centennial Correctional Facility has advantages that could outweigh its disadvantages, according to officials. But no details were available and no conclusions have been reached. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

To approve a transfer, Defense Secretary Ash Carter must conclude that the detainees will not return to terrorism or the battlefield upon release and that there is a host country willing to take them and guarantee they will secure them.

The facilities reviewed by the assessment team were

  • the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and Midwest Joint Regional Corrections Facility at Leavenworth, Kansas;
  • the Consolidated Naval Brig, Charleston, South Carolina;
  • the Federal Correctional Complex, which includes the medium, maximum and supermax facilities in Florence, Colorado; and
  • the Colorado State Penitentiary II in Canon City, Colorado, also known as the Centennial Correctional Facility.

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner made clear this week that he opposes any move to relocate detainees to his state.

“I will not sit idly by while the president uses political promises to imperil the people of Colorado by moving enemy combatants from Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, to my state of Colorado,” he said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

He also expressed concerns about the potential impact of such a move on the state’s judicial system and concerns about detainees potentially have to transported from the rural facility to downtown Denver to the federal courthouse for a hearing.

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