March 8, 2016

Former Guantanamo Detainees Return To The Battlefield

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the number of former Guantanamo Bay detainees suspected of returning to the battlefield doubled to 12 in the last six months of 2015:

According to figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), as of Jan. 15 the United States also had confirmed that seven out of 144 Guantanamo prisoners who were freed since Obama took office in January 2009 have returned to fighting.

The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence further assessed that there is little that can be done to prevent some former detainees from returning to the battlefield:

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.

We assess that some GTMO detainees transferred in the future will also communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations.

The latest revelations raise questions about why Secretary Clinton aggressively advocated for the closure of Guantanamo Bay as Secretary of State and what motivated her to endorse President Obama’s recent plan for closing the facility, a decision which could put Americans in danger.