ISIS suicide bomber in Iraq was former Guantanamo prisoner

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Free Republic

An ISIS suicide bomber in Iraq who detonated a truck bomb at an army base outside Mosul has been identified as a British citizen who was held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Ronald Fiddler, also known as Jamal al-Harith after he converted to Islam in the 1990s, was captured in a Taliban prison in 2002.  He was suspected of having links to Osama bin Laden and was transferred to Guantanamo.

Al-Harith claimed he was mistreated at the prison camp and that British agents were complicit.  He was transferred back to the U.K. in 2004 and was awarded a million pounds in compensation.

USA Today:

He was announced as a suicide bomber who targeted coalition forces outside Mosul this week when ISIS released a picture of him smiling in a 4×4 that was seen in video footage speeding down a track. ISIS claimed Harith caused multiple casualties, according to the Times of London.

Harith, 50, traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in 2014, raising fears that the money given to him had been passed on to ISIS. He was known to fellow militants as Abu-Zakariya al-Britani.

Harith, who was accused of having links to Osama bin Laden, was held in Guantanamo Bay without charge for two years after he was discovered in a Taliban prison in Afghanistan in 2001, the Times of London reported.

Manchester-born Harith’s brother Leon Jameson told the newspaper that his brother “wasted his life.”

“It is him, I can tell by his smile,” he said of the ISIS image. “If it is true then I’ve lost a brother, so another family (member) gone.”

Memo to ISIS: Make sure you send a thank-you note to the British government.  A million pounds buys a lot of bombs to kill innocent civilians

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com

Obama Will Free More “Too-Dangerous-To-Be-Released” Jihadists from GITMO

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Independent Sentinel

Free Beacon reported that Obama is going to reduce the Guantanamo Bay prison population even though the remaining prisoners present a serious danger to the U.S.. He recently released one of the planners of 9/11 to his native country Yemen.

Obama Ignores Trump’s Warning

“I would expect, at this point, additional transfers to be announced,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday, CNN reported, after Trump warned against further releases of “extremely dangerous” remaining detainees at the Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba.

 

Last month, The New York Times reported  that the Obama administration intends to transfer 17 or 18 detainees before the president leaves office, leaving 41 or 42 prisoners remaining at the military prison. The last detainee transfer was announced by the Defense Department at the start of December, meaning that 59 prisoners currently remain at Guantanamo Bay.

The people who okay these transfers are toadies of Barack Obama’s. They are review boards he controls.

Obama has accelerated his push to close Guantanamo over the last year, transferring numerous prisoners to foreign countries and delivering a plan to Congress that would involve moving detainees not cleared for release to stateside prisons.

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The Indefensible Obama Policies

 

Family Security Matters

HERBERT LONDON

On December 6 President Barack Obama defended his strategy for combating terrorism, a strategy – if one can call it that – based on restraint and withdrawal. Without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, the president went on to contrast his ideas with those enunciated by the president elect. He clearly attempted to make the case for why his successor should adhere to his approach.

That approach includes scaling back U.S. military presence abroad, a ban on torture and the closing of the detention facility in Guantanamo. President Obama referred to his approach as “smart policy” and noted with pride that “no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland, and it’s not because they didn’t try.” He argued, as well, for using diplomacy before military power, pointing to the Iran deal as the way to restrain a nuclear program.

While President Obama is keen on securing his legacy, the claims about “smart policy” are questionable. Alas, the scaling back of U.S. military presence has occurred with the precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, a symbol of misguided policy directives. The rise of ISIS is due in no small part to the departure of the U.S. military from the region. Similarly, the announcement that there will be a dramatic force reduction in Afghanistan on an announced date, led directly to enhanced field operations by the Taliban.

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Report: Obama intends to transfer more Gitmo detainees before leaving office

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Free Republic

The Obama administration intends to transfer 17 or 18 of the remaining 59 Guantanamo Bay detainees before the president leaves office, the New York Times reported Monday night.

The prisoners will go to Italy, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

If the proposal goes through, Donald Trump would be left to deal with 10 men who were charged or convicted in military commissions, and 27 who were not charged but are deemed to dangerous to release.

It is not clear if Trump will refuse to transfer detainees once he takes office.

The president-elect has promised to keep Guantanamo operating and “load it up with some bad dudes. . .”

(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com

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We can’t afford to give terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield

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The Hill

Last week the Obama Administration approved its largest-ever release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, sending 15 extremists back into the world.

By now, the pattern has become familiar:  the President lets hardened terrorists go free, Congress and the American people express outrage, and the White House ignores the uproar.

But the grave risks of this policy cannot be ignored.  The President is giving terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield.

In fact, officials have confirmed to Congress that some former detainees are responsible for attacking or killing Americans since being freed.  Yet, incredibly, the releases persist.

Not only does the President’s rush to open Gitmo’s jail cells allow fighters to keep waging war against us, it also gives the jihadist A-team a chance to mentor a new generation of radicals.

“Outrageous” hardly describes the non-logic of this policy.  What Commander-in-Chief lets the enemy return to the fight in the middle of a war?

But that’s just the problem—the President doesn’t believe we’re fighting one.

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Obama administration approves its largest single release of Guantanamo detainees ever

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Free Republic

The Obama administration on Monday transferred 15 detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United Arab Emirates, the largest release under the current president, the Pentagon said.

The transfer comes as the president faces a looming deadline to keep the promise he made on his first day in office to close the military prison. The detainee population there dipped under 100 for the first time in years in January with the release of 10 Yemeni prisoners, and will shrink to 61 with the latest transfer, underscoring a late effort to move toward closure.

“The United States is grateful to the Government of the United Arab Emirates for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “The United States coordinated with the Government of the United Arab Emirates to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

The move was immediately condemned by Ed Royce (R.-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He accused the Obama administration in a statement of “doubling down on policies that put American lives at risk” and “recklessness.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com

GOPs: ‘Halt All Releases’ from Gitmo After More Ex-Detainee Trouble

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PJ Media

WASHINGTON — GOP lawmakers are asking for a freeze on transfers from Guantanamo Bay and more information about past transfers after one detainee released to Uruguay went missing and another was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department.

As Congress blocks President Obama’s efforts to close the prison facility, the White House is trying to quickly deplete Gitmo’s population. The transfer of two detainees to Serbia was announced Monday, bringing the population down to 76. There were 242 terror suspects at Guantanamo when Obama took office.

On Wednesday, the State Department issued the designations of Aslan Avgazarovich Byutukaev, the ISIS leader in Chechnya, and Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, a Tatar fighter from Russia.

“Vakhitov is associated with Jaysh al-Muhajirin Wal Ansar, a group that was designated by the U.S. Department of State as a SDGT under Executive Order 13224. Vakhitov has also used the internet to recruit militants to travel to Syria,” the State Department said.

Vakhitov was released to Russia along with six of his countrymen in 2004. The Russians later released the former detainees. Vakhitov threatened afterward that he would sue the U.S. for torture at Gitmo.

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Turkey Terror Attack Suspect Freed from Gitmo, Part of “Russian Taliban”—DOD File Says He’ll Remain “incarcerated under the control of the Russian government”

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Judicial Watch

Surprise, surprise; one of the suspects arrested in connection with last week’s terrorist attacks in Turkey spent time at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. released him to his native Russia along with six other detainees who subsequently became known as the “Russian Taliban,” according to an alarming report published by a Washington D.C. think-tank that studies totalitarian societies of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

One of the members of the so-called Russian Taliban, Airat Vakhitov, is among 30 people arrested by Turkish authorities in connection with the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport that killed dozens and injured more than 100, a U.S. government-funded news service reports. Vakhitov spent two years at Gitmo after being captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001, the news report says, and he’s one of 11 Russian citizens arrested in the last few days in connection with the Turkey attack, which was carried out by ISIS. “Russia’s security services have accused Vakhitov of fighting in Syria and Iraq alongside terrorist groups, as well as recruiting foreign fighters for IS and other groups, and raising funds for terrorists,” the news story says.

Judicial Watch tracked down Vakhitov’s Department of Defense (DOD) Gitmo file and it says he was born in Naberyozhnyj and traveled by train to Afghanistan where he was eventually arrested by the Taliban on suspicion of espionage. He was taken to Gitmo in mid-June, 2002 and was “cooperative” during his two-year stay. “Because of the Russian government’s agreement to incarcerate this detainee upon his transfer, and provided that he remains incarcerated under the control of the Russian government, the detainee poses no future threat to the U.S. or its allies,” the DOD file states. “In addition, the Russian government has agreed to share with the United States all intelligence derived from this detainee in the future.” It’s not clear when Russia freed Vakhitov or if he was ever really incarcerated there after leaving Gitmo. An international human rights organizations claims Vakhitov and his fellow countrymen were tortured in Russia after leaving Gitmo in 2004. “Access to the ex-detainees is limited because three of them are in prison and the rest have either managed to leave the country or are in hiding,” the group writes in an announcement promoting a report blasting the U.S. for relying on Russia’s “diplomatic assurances” of fair treatment to justify sending Gitmo captives.

If Vakhitov was involved in the Turkey attack, he’s simply the latest of many Gitmo captives to reengage in terrorism after leaving the top security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba. Judicial Watch has reported on this for years, documenting specific cases based on intelligence reports. Earlier this year the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) disclosed that dozens have joined terrorist causes after begin released, including seven of the 144 captives freed by the Obama administration. Of the 532 released under the George W. Bush administration (this includes Vakhitov), 111 eventually reengaged in extremist causes, the ODNI revealed. Just a few weeks ago Judicial Watch reported that a veteran Al Qaeda operative released from Gitmo to Uruguay in late 2014 has gone missing and authorities in Latin America believe he sneaked into Brazil after being denied legal entry. Keep in mind the summer Olympics are just weeks away in Brazil.

In one embarrassing case an Al Qaeda operative freed from Gitmo was subsequently placed by the U.S. government on a global terrorist list where a $5 million reward was offered for information on his whereabouts. The Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, was repatriated by the Bush administration in 2006 under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead serves as a training camp for future terrorists.

Olympic Countdown: Al Qaeda Terrorist Released from Gitmo to Uruguay Sneaked into Brazil, Whereabouts Unknown

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Judicial Watch

With the summer Olympics just a few weeks away in Brazil, a veteran Al Qaeda operative released from Guantanamo to Uruguay has gone missing and authorities in Latin America believe he sneaked into Brazil after being denied legal entry. The Islamic terrorist’s name is Jihad Ahmad Diyab an in late 2014 President Obama sent him to Uruguay along with five fellow Gitmo inmates as part of a misguided plan to shut down the U.S. military prison at the Naval base in southeast Cuba. Now officials from Uruguay, Brazil and the United States are scrambling to find Diyab, according to news reports in Uruguay that quote high-level government officials.

Diyab’s Department of Defense (DOD) file says he’s a high-risk terrorist that poses a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies. “Detainee is a member of the Syrian Group comprised of dismantled terrorist cells that escaped Syrian authorities and fled to Afghanistan (AF) in2000,” the DOD file states. “Detainee was sentenced to death in absentia, probably for his terrorist activities in Syria. Detainee is assessed to be a Global Jihad Support Network (GJSN) document forger who provided services to the network operated by Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn aka (Abu Zubaydah), ISN US9GZ-010016DP (GZ-10016), supporting European, North African, and Levant extremists facilitating their international travels. Detainee is an associate of several other significant al-Qaida members to include Ali Muhammad Abdul Aziz al-Fakhri, 11 September 2001 recruiter Muhammad Zammar, and other facilitators and identified document forgers.”

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Nevertheless, Obama sent Diyab off to Uruguay in December 2014 and the country’s president at the time granted him and his five cohorts “refugee” status, which means they get to come and go as they please. Diyab never even tried to hide his terrorist ties. In fact, in interviews with Latin American publications he proudly proclaimed his support for the “radical Islamic group Al Qaeda.” This is probably why Brazilian authorities denied him legal entry. Diyab was also denied a visa to enter Qatar, according to an Uruguayan newspaper article that cites government sources in that country. A few days after Diyab was discovered missing Uruguay’s Minister of the Interior, Eduardo Bonomi, confirmed in a local newspaper story that Diyab left the country. “It’s not known with what documentation he (Diyab) left the country because he didn’t go through any registry,” Bonomi said referring to Uruguay’s official border screening tools.

Many of the prisoners released from Gitmo have reengaged in terrorism after leaving the compound and Judicial Watch has reported on it for years. Just a few months ago Judicial Watch wrote about an intelligence report that confirmed the latest tally of Gitmo alums that returned to terrorist causes after leaving the prison. Of the 144 Gitmo prisoners freed by the Obama administration seven are confirmed to have returned to the fight, according to the assessment, which was issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Of the 532 captives released under the George W. Bush administration, 111 eventually reengaged in extremist causes. In 2010 an ODNI report to Congress revealed that 150 former Gitmo prisoners were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At the time the agency revealed that at least 83 “remain at large” and that if additional detainees get released some will “reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities.” That assessment came two years after the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed a sharp rise in the number of Gitmo detainees who rejoin terrorist missions after leaving U.S. custody. Using data such as fingerprints, pictures and other reports the defense agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence, determined that the number of Middle Eastern terrorists who returned to “the fight” after being released nearly doubled in a short time.

This hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from releasing droves of Gitmo inmates, compromising national security and embarrassing itself in the process. In 2014, years after liberating an Al Qaeda operative from Gitmo, the U.S. government put him on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts. The recently released intelligence report cited above repeats what other government assessments have long documented: “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. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability, as well as recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations, could pose problems. While enforcement of transfer conditions may deter reengagement by many former detainees and delay reengagement by others, some detainees who are determined to reengage will do so regardless of any transfer conditions, albeit probably at a lower rate than if they were transferred without conditions.” Still left at the top security facility are 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.

Reports: Obama to Liberate Up to 24 Prisoners from Guantánamo

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Free Republic

The Obama administration is secretly preparing to transfer up to 24 prisoners out of the U.S. military detention center Guantánamo Bay in Cuba by the end of the summer, the Guardian and Fox News report, citing unnamed sources. As the first news outlet to shed light on the plans, The Guardian notes that the transfer to multiple countries is expected to occur by the end of July.

Currently, there are 80 prisoners detained at the Guantánamo facility, down from the 242 when President Barack Obama took office.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com