President Barack Obama has made it his mission to release as many prisoners as possible from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before his term ends in January.
And apparently, when determining whom to release, the president doesn’t give any credence to how dangerous the prisoner was said to be or why the prisoner had been detained at Gitmo in the first place.
For example, Obama’s multi-agency Periodic Review Board recently cleared the release of one of the most dangerous prisoners on the planet — a “forever prisoner” with close ties to terrorism and a strong likelihood of rejoining terrorist activities upon release.
Yemeni Yassin Qasim Muhammad Ismail Qasim, 37, had at least one relative serving as an Al Qaeda recruiter who could help him quickly re-engage in terrorist activities, according to American intelligence officials — not to mention the fact that the detainee was originally designated a “forever prisoner,” someone deemed too dangerous ever to be released.
In fact, before he was imprisoned at Guantanamo in May 2002, the Yemeni terrorist was believed to have been combat-trained and to have fought against anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
And in May 2016 — just seven months before Obama’s officials decided to release him — a U.S. intelligence profile on Qasim noted that the terrorist “probably retains extremist views and anti-US sentiment.”
The Yemen-based AQAP has been described by the State Department as one of the strongest and most dangerous branches of Al Qaeda, and Qasim reportedly still had connections to it.
The profile also noted that although Qasim had not committed “violent offenses” in the last two years, “he has been highly non-compliant with the guard force relative to other detainees” during most of his time at Gitmo.
However, these crucial facts apparently were not important to the president’s parole-style board, which decided on Dec. 8 to release Qasim.
“His responses (during his latest release hearing) were thoughtful and showed an effort to realistically consider the future,” the PRB said of Qasim in its decision. “The board also noted the detainee’s extensive efforts to take advantage of opportunities in detention to better himself, to include multiple academic and art classes, as well as positive engagement with mental health counselors.”
Oh, so the terrorist was interested in learning how to paint, so that must mean he no longer wants to wipe out Americans and others who disagree with radical Islam. Why didn’t you just say so in the first place?
Unfortunately, Qasim has not been the only terrorist released under Obama’s watch who poses a threat to our national security.
In fact, according to U.S. government estimates, nearly three out of every 10 Guantanamo detainees who have been released are suspected or confirmed to have re-engaged in terrorist activities.
The good news is that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is required to give 30 days notice to Congress of any transfer out of Guantanamo, which means that many of the detained terrorists will not be gone by Obama’s last day in office, the Miami Herald reported.
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