Friday, 6 January 2017
EXCLUSIVE: At least 18 MORE Guantanamo detainees to be freed within days as Obama starts mass transfer of fanatics who have threatened to bomb and behead Americans.
President Obama is planning to transfer at least 18 more Guantanamo Bay detainees within days after announcing that four prisoners are being sent to Saudi Arabia, DailyMail.com has learned.
The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo - who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group's top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based U.S. detention facility for more than a decade.
According to a military source briefed on the process, as total of 22 detainees are being prepared for transfer out of the camp, also known as Gitmo, before January 20.
On Thursday afternoon, the Pentagon announced the 'transfer' of four detainees to Saudi Arabia - Yemenis Salem Ahmed Hadi, Mohammed Ghanim, Mohammed Bawazir, and Abdullah al Shabli.
A source told DailyMail.com there will be three more sets of transfers before Obama leaves office on January 20.
Although the White House has not specified which inmates will be transferred next – or which foreign countries have agreed to accept them – it has indicated that this will be a priority for Obama in his final days in office.
'I can't speak to any individual notifications that have been made to Congress or give you a specific preview about upcoming transfers,' said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
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Controversial: The president - who was given a medal by Defense Secretary Ash Carter marking his years as commander in chief - is certain to be attacked by Republicans for his Guantammo move
Riled: Trump wrote on Twitter that the remaining 'Gitmo' inmates 'are extremely dangerous people' - hinting at the reaction when Obama's official transfers begin
Empyting: A rare picture of inside Guantanamo Bay's detention facilities, where 59 'worst of the worst' are currently held. Obama plans to transfer as many as he can before leaving office.
'I think I would expect at this point additional transfers to be announced before January 20th.'
Obama will likely focus on moving detainees who have been 'cleared for transfer' – a group that includes the alleged head of al Qaeda's bomb-manufacturing operation in eastern Afghanistan, the head of al Qaeda's Tunisian faction in Afghanistan, and senior weapons trainers.
Those held in Guantanamo in recent years have been dubbed 'the worst of the worst' by military and intelligence officials.
But the move would come close to fulfilling Obama's campaign promise from nearly a decade ago to close the U.S. military detention center located at the base in Cuba.
But it is vehemently opposed by Republicans and the incoming Trump administration. The president-elect has already warned against any transfers at all, meaning the 22 planned moves will be another source of tension in the transition.
Fifty-nine enemy combatants in total still remain at Guantanamo, including terror 'mastermind' Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two of the '20th hijackers' for the 9/11 attacks, and the strategists behind the USS Cole bombing of 2000.
The group includes al Qaeda henchmen from around the world who are trained in lethal military tactics – ranging from sniper assassins and rocket-propelled grenade operators, to explosives and chemical weapons experts.
The Guantanamo Bay detention center has come under significant criticism due to the indefinite detention of some prisoners, many of whom are held without official charges. Obama has promised since his 2008 campaign to shut down the prison.
Although US military officials have issued reports explaining the reasons for continued detentions, many of the accusations are based on claims from other captives or from intelligence that cannot be verified in court.
Supporters of the prison say it is necessary to keep it open due to the national security threat posed by the detainees and the difficulty of compiling a traditional legal case against battlefield terrorists.
President-elect Trump pushed back on Obama's plan to release additional detainees this week, calling it 'dangerous.'
'There should be no further releases from Gitmo,' wrote Trump on Twitter this week. 'These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.'
Senate Republicans have also expressed their opposition to Obama's move.
Senator Tom Cotton told DailyMail.com that he will work with Trump to ensure that Guantanamo Bay remains open.
'Guantanamo is a first-rate, humane facility for the long-term detention and interrogation of hardened terrorists,' said Cotton. 'I look forward to working with President Trump to ensuring it remains filled with senior al Qaeda and ISIL [ISIS] terrorists.'
The remaining 59 Guantanamo prisoners include 17 'high-value' detainees, seven of whom are currently facing military charges, according to the New York Times.
Three others have already been convicted of war crimes, and an additional 26 are being detained indefinitely and are not recommended for transfer.
Twenty three others have been 'recommended for transfer' to foreign countries under certain security conditions, such as the detainees attending a rehabilitation program. But the requirements are left relatively vague, and are ultimately up to the foreign government to enforce.
According to the Department of Justice guidelines, inmates can only be considered for continued detention at Guantanamo Bay if they meet three criteria: their continued detention is deemed 'lawful,' they are unable to be prosecuted in a court, and they pose a security threat that 'cannot be sufficiently mitigated through feasible and appropriate security measures.'
Prisoners who are not eligible for continued detention are recommended for transfer.
The list of 'recommended for transfer' prisoners includes a number of top al Qaeda operatives and commanders.
Digging in: 'Guantanamo is a first-rate, humane facility for the long-term detention and interrogation of hardened terrorists,' Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican, told DailyMail.com
Key figure: The 59 are all linked to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader who some knew personally and swore loyalty to
There since the beginning: Some of the detainees at Guantanamo arrived in 2002 and have been held throughout its time as a detention center.
One of these detainees, Mohammed al Ansi, has spent 15 years in Gitmo.
US military officials claim he 'received specialized close combat training for his role as a suicide operative in an aborted component of the 11 September 2001 al-Qaida attacks.'
The attack, which was later cancelled by al Qaeda because of difficulties with coordinating timing, was supposed to include the hijacking of a plane in Southeast Asia with the intent of crashing it into a US military base.
One of the other recommended transfers, Bostan Karim, is accused of running al Qaeda's improvised explosive devices (IED) operations in Khowst, Afghanistan, which targeted US soldiers.
Some of the recommended transfers have also vowed to return to jihad if they are ever released, according to reports from US military officials. They have also threatened to assassinate the U.S. president, kill American citizens, and attack other world leaders who are allied with the West.
Muieen Abdal Sattar, an accused al Qaeda member who fought in Tora Bora, has been at Guantanamo for 14 years and 11 months. While there he has 'incited mass disturbances, assaulted and threatened to kill [Gitmo] personnel and made motivational speeches to 'fight against infidels' and to kill all Americans to include men, women, children, and babies,' according to US military officials.
The word terrorist springs to mind.
Posted by Bolton BNP at 05:38