BEIRUT: The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order that President Barack Obama signed that the detention center be shut down within a year.
The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
Appearing along with al-Shihri in a recent Jihadist video is another former Guantanamo detainee.
Three other men appear in the video, including Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, identified as an Al-Qaeda field commander. SITE later said he was prisoner No. 333.
Is there a Guantanamo detainee No. 666? If so, who is he? A charismatic fellow perhaps?
While most of the Guantanamo detainees are going to be released back out into the wild somewhere (including maybe the US and Europe - see below) 50-100 detainees will be tried in US courts.
The number of detainees who may face federal trials — by various estimates, 50 to 100 of the remaining Guantánamo inmates — is tiny by the standards of the federal prison system, which currently holds 201,375 people in 114 facilities, according to Felicia Ponce, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Those include 9 detention centers that hold defendants awaiting trial, 21 high-security penitentiaries and a supersecure prison in Florence, Colo., where several convicted terrorists are already locked up.
If any of those prosecuted jihadists are not convicted or get sentences shorter than their lifespans then where will they be released?
It is considered inhumane (really, I am not making this up) to send some of the Guantanamo detainees back to their countries of origin. The European Union had previously indicated a willingness to accept some of these detainees as refugees if we would just close Guantanamo (funny the things people will promise when they are trying to pose as morally superior). They kinda like war refugees. Isn't this funny? I mean, okay, the Western countries are decadent and pathetic for even considering to do this in the first place. Albania - the Muslim European country that helped Kosovar Albanians push the Christian Orthodox Serbs out of Kosovo - took 5 whole Chinese Uigher freedom fighters/terrorists (take your pick). But the US is expected to take the rest.
European nations are mainly looking at the 60 of the 245 detainees who have been scrutinized and cleared for release – but cannot go home to China, Algeria, Uzbekistan, Russia, Syria, Libya, and other states, due to fears of reprisal.
Albania took five Chinese Uighers in 2006. Some human rights groups have called for the Obama administration to take the remaining 15 Uighers as a show of good faith.
Couldn't Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, take in these devout Muslim believers? Are these Muslim warriors fighting for Islam?
Former Reagan and Bush Sr US DOJ lawyers David B. Rivkin Jr and Lee A. Casey argue that civilian courts are not the appropriate place for handling terrorists who are at war with the United States.
The Bush administration chose the law-of-war paradigm because the international law of armed conflict gives the U.S. maximum flexibility to meet the jihadist threat, including the right to attack and destroy al Qaeda bases and fighters in foreign countries. The alternative legal framework, the civilian criminal-justice system, is unsuitable for several key reasons. Civilian criminal suspects quite obviously cannot be targeted for military attack. They can be subjected only to the minimum force necessary to effect an arrest. They cannot -- consistent with international law -- be pursued across national boundaries. And finally, they are entitled to a speedy trial in a public courtroom. These rules cannot be ignored or altered without constitutional amendment.
In addition, the type and quality of evidence necessary for convictions in civilian courts is simply unavailable for most captured terrorists. One federal district judge recently concluded that although the government's information on one detainee was sufficient for intelligence purposes -- that is, he presumably could have been targeted for deadly attack -- it was insufficient to hold him without trial.
I've read some innocent people got swept up and imprisoned by the US during the war in Afghanistan. Does the US government still hold any remaining such people due to a lack of place to release them to that is not in the US?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2009 January 24 02:57 PM Terrorists Western Response|