2 released from Guantanamo Bay by Obama administration return to terrorism, report says
Tuesday, December 7, 2010; 8:43 PM
Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees who were repatriated or resettled by the Obama administration have engaged in terrorist activities and another three former detainees are suspected of returning to the fight, according to a report released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The detainees, who were not named in the unclassified version of a report sent to Congress, were among 66 detainees who were transferred out of the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since Obama took office in January 2009. An administration official said one and probably both of the confirmed recidivists were Afghans.
Of the 532 Guantanamo detainees released by the Bush administration, 79 are confirmed as having returned to the fight and an additional 66 are suspected of having reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities, the report says. Thirteen detainees released from Guantanamo are now dead and 54 are in custody; 83 remain at large.
"Unfortunately, these latest numbers make clear that fulfilling a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay is overriding what should be the administration's first priority: protecting Americans from terrorists," said Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.). "It is unacceptable to continue transferring these dangerous detainees."
But the administration official pointed out that the last administration "knew of recidivism, too, but went ahead because they, too, wanted to close" Guantanamo.
"Our record is still good, and the effort to close Gitmo is still worth it," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the report publicly.
The report notes that the administration does not count anti-American statements or propaganda activities as recidivism. The report also says that it can take up to 2 1/2 years after leaving Guantanamo Bay before recidivism is reported and that the numbers may continue to rise.