We all knew this would happen. Even after the Obama administration told us that the released Guantanamo Bay prisoners would be watched and “contained”, we all knew they would be returning to terrorism, seeking to kill more Americans.
But the statement made by White House spokesman Josh Earnest is even more maddening. He chose to focus on the 90% of released terrorists that are not returning to the fight, a made-up figure that makes none of us feel safer. In fact 1 in 3 of the released prisoners have returned to terrorism, and even that is a conservative figure.
According to FoxNews,
Al-Qosi was believed to have been with Bin Laden at Tora Bora in Afghanistan in late 2001, when the U.S. narrowly missed taking out the terrorist kingpin and his entourage. He was one of the so-called “Dirty 30” the U.S. hotly pursued in the aftermath of 9/11, and was nabbed in Pakistan in 2002. Military prosecutors said Al-Qosi became close to Bin Laden while the Al Qaeda founder lived in Sudan, prior to his moving operations to Afghanistan.
In a leaked, 2007 Joint Task Force Guantanamo threat assessment, U.S. intelligence analysts described Al-Qosi as a “high” risk to the U.S. 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 U.S. forces, if released,” the assessment stated.
In the video from Yeman, entitled “Guardians of Sharia,” Al-Qosi and other AQAP commanders are shown discussing the terror group’s policy of encouraging attacks against the West by individuals and small cells. The video also emphasizes the importance of following the teachings of experienced terror ideologues — a likely reference to ISIS, whose rise over the past 18 months has overshadowed Al Qaeda’s long-running terror campaign.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House is aware of the report but could not yet confirm it.
“Obviously, any report about a former GitMo detainee re-engaging in the fight would be source of significant concern, something that we would take quite seriously,” Earnest said at Thursday’s daily press briefing. “Based on what we know so far, more than 90 percent of those transferred from Guantanamo Bay have not re-engaged in the fight. But we are certainly paying close attention, even if we find unconfirmed reports about those who may have.”