An terrorist who carried out an attack this week in Iraq was a detainee at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo). He was freed but returned to kill soldiers on the battlefield as a suicide bomber.
The ex-Gitmo detainee, identified as Jamal al-Harith, was back on the battlefield killing Americans after Britain lobbied for his release. He then carried out a suicide bombing on a military base in Iraq this week. This raises questions about the ability of security services to track the whereabouts of potential terrorists.
Detainees released from Gitmo have an alarmingly high recidivism rate, however, despite claims they are reformed. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reports that 118 released detainees have re-engaged in terror operations. In addition, the intelligence agency lists that another 86 individuals are “suspected of re-engaging” in terror. Nearly one in three released Gitmo detainees are confirmed or suspected of joining terrorist operations against America.
Jamal al-Harith was initially identified by The Islamic State as Abu Zakariya al-Britani. Two British security officials, however, confirmed the man was a 50-year-old Briton formerly known as Ronald Fiddler. He was one of 16 men paid a total of $12.4 million dollars in compensation in 2010.
Britain pays Gitmo detainee over torture claims
Ironically, Britain settled a lawsuit alleging its intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of prisoners at Gitmo. It’s hard to believe these terrorists know how to play our system. The British are just as bad as American bleeding heart liberals. They would rather give these killers the benefit of the doubt. These detainees were caught in the act of terrorism on a foreign land and held as Gitmo detainees. They then played the system and were actually rewarded. Is the West stupid or what? It is obvious we don’t treat them like the enemies they are.
Al-Harith’s background story
Al-Harith was a web designer and convert to Islam when he set off on a visit to a Pakistani religious retreat in October 2001. A couple of months later, during the war in Iraq, he was caught by the Northern Alliance and allowed to call home. He told his family he would be back soon, but instead was turned over to the Americans and sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Like many others, he claims he was tortured there. He was released along with four other British detainees who had been held for up to two years over their alleged links to al Qaeda and the Taliban. “Once you’ve been labeled (as a terrorist) people always say there’s something there, and that’s stopped him from getting a job,” Fiddler said of her brother in an interview in 2007.
Suing the British government
Al-Harith and 15 others sued the British government, alleging it knew about or was complicit in their treatment while in the custody of U.S. forces. Alex Carlile, Britain’s former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said al-Harith’s case was settled to avoid disclosing sensitive documents in a court battle.
“Plainly he was a terrorist and he was a potentially dangerous terrorist,” he told the BBC. “The issue was the legal disclosure rules. If someone brings a civil action for damages they are entitled to disclosure of material, some of which may be national security material.”
How does a person on the radar of security services leave Britain, and travels to the Middle East without raising alarms from the security services? I thought these terror suspects were being tracked. Arthur Snell, former head of Prevent (part of the Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy), said authorities lost track of him.
“It’s obvious that collectively, the authorities — and obviously I have some personal responsibility there — we failed to be aware of what Fiddler was up to,” the told the BBC.
Gitmo detainees return to the battlefield
It is estimated that 30% of released Gitmo detainees later become high-profile members of terror groups. One of the current leaders of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group, which the Pentagon says is the most dangerous al-Qaeda branch, is former Gitmo detainee Ibrahim al-Qosi. President Trump said he will use Gitmo for enemy combatants, reversing President Barack Obama’s plan to close the facility.
Trump has called detainees:
“extremely dangerous people” who “should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”
Congressional Republicans support the use of Gitmo to imprison enemy combatants, and have encouraged the president to expand its use. The White House is also considering executive actions dealing with Guantanamo Bay. Politico reports that a draft executive order “would keep the base in use, suspend the release of current detainees, and leave open the possibility of keeping new prisoners there.”
What do you think about the former Gitmo detainee returning to bomb our soldiers in Iraq? In addition, should we keep Gitmo open or close it as the Obama administration wanted?