In the wake of the tragic terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, The Associated Press reported that the Obama Administration has begun a new round of troubling releases of Guantanamo Bay detainees. With the fear of terrorism on the rise in America, why would the Administration gamble with national security?
According to recent NBC polling, an increasing number of Americans rank terrorism as the most important issue. The Administration’s recent decision to release Abdel Malik Abdel Wahab al-Rahabi, Yemeni national who had spent the past 14 years at Guantanamo Bay as a suspected terrorist, is troubling. Al-Rahabi was once accused of being part of the plans for the 9/11 attacks and being Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard.
Al-Rahabi had been at Guantanamo since shortly after it opened. A Pentagon profile released before he appeared before a review board in 2013 said he had traveled from his homeland to Afghanistan and “almost certainly” became a member of al-Qaida.
The United States and its allies have struggled to monitor and track former detainees once they are released to countries such as Yemen or Montenegro, leading to an alarmingly high rate of recidivism. Of the 676 former detainees released from Guantanamo, more than a quarter of the former detainees have been confirmed or suspected of reengaging in fighting.
Former Guantanamo detainees suspected of “returning to the fight” have been on the rise in the past year, and Americans should be concerned:
The new report says that as of January 15, 2016 the number of Guantanamo detainees released by the Obama administration suspected of re-engaging has doubled from six to 12 since the last recidivism report was released six months ago.
The Obama Administration is more concerned with keeping the President’s promise of closing Guantanamo Bay than keeping America and its allies safe.
Once again, the President and his Administration have placed politics and political correctness over the national security needs of the country.