The Director of National Intelligence released a report this week indicating that the United States has “confirmed” that 116 detainees “transferred” out of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, subsequently reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities.
CNS News The report also warned: “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.”
The DNI first publicly warned more than four years ago–in December 2010–that the number of then already “transferred” Guantanamo detainees returning to terror and insurgent activity would increase as time passed and that if additional detainees were released in the future some of those would also return to terrorist and insurgent activities.
Despite this warning, the DNI’s new report indicates that between Jan. 14, 2014 and Jan. 15, 2015 the U.S. government released an additional 33 Guantanamo detainees.
As pointed out in a statement released by House Homeland Security ChairmanMichael McCaul (R.-Texas), the number of “transferred” Guantanamo detainees confirmed to have returned to terrorist or insurgent activity increased by 12 during that same January 2014 to January 2015 time frame.
Responding to the DNI’s new report, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.) said the administration should abandon its efforts to close Guantanamo.
“It is simple common sense that the most radical and dangerous Islamist terrorists–which are who we hold at Guantanamo Bay–will return to terrorism if given the chance,” Chairman Nunes told CNSNews.com. “That is why the Obama administration should stop hunting for pretexts to release them in a misguided attempt to close down the prison.”
As of Jan. 15, according to the DNI’s report, 647 detainees had been “transferred” from Guantanamo. Of these, 116 (or 17.9 percent) were confirmed to have reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activities and another 69 (or 10.7 percent) were suspected of having reengaged.
Together, 185 (or 28.6 percent) of the 647 released Guantanamo detainees were either confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorism or insurgent activities.
According to the DNI’s report, a detainee released from Guantanamo is “confirmed” to have returned to terrorist or insurgent activites when a “preponderance of information identifies” that specific former detainee as having done so. A former detainee is “suspected” of having returned to terrorist or insurgent activity when “plausible but unverified or single-source reporting” indicates that he has done so.
In a previous report on “transferred” former Guantanamo detainees that was released a year ago (on March 5, 2014), the DNI qualified its assessment that “transferred” Guantanamo detainees would return to terror or insurgencies.
In that report, which included data through Jan. 14, 2014, the DNI said: “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that if additional detainees are transferred without conditions from GTMO, some will reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as active recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations pose a particular problem.”
The DNI’s reengagement reports released in 2013 and 2012 incorporated the same or similar language as the March 2014 report, including the qualification that it was from among the detainees “transferred without conditions” that some would return to terrorism.
But the most recent prior reengagement report, published on Sept. 5, 2014, and the latest one released this week, do not include the phrase “without conditions.” After stating that if additional Guantanamo detainees are “transferred” some of them “will” return to terrorist and insurgent activity, the latest report says: “Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as activie recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations pose particular 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.”
The initial reengagement report published on Dec. 7, 2010, said the number of those already released reengaging in terrorism would increase and if additional detainees were released some of the would return to terrorism.