Gitmo jihadi released by US returned to al Qaeda to wage jihad

by Kal El on January 25, 2009 · 3 comments

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Today’s moment of “DUH!” brought to you by Yemen.

Freed by the U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief

BEIRUT, Lebanon — 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 President Obama signed Thursday 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 United States 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.

His status was announced in an Internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by an American counterterrorism official.

“They’re one and the same guy,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was discussing an intelligence analysis. “He returned to Saudi Arabia in 2007, but his movements to Yemen remain unclear.”

The development came as Republican legislators criticized the plan to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp in the absence of any measures for dealing with current detainees. But it also helps explain why the new administration wants to move cautiously, taking time to work out a plan to cope with the complications.

Almost half the camp’s remaining detainees are Yemenis, and efforts to repatriate them depend in part on the creation of a Yemeni rehabilitation program — partly financed by the United States — similar to the Saudi one. Saudi Arabia has claimed that no graduate of its program has returned to terrorism.

“The lesson here is, whoever receives former Guantánamo detainees needs to keep a close eye on them,” the American official said.

Although the Pentagon has said that dozens of released Guantánamo detainees have “returned to the fight,” its claim is difficult to document, and has been met with skepticism. In any case, few of the former detainees, if any, are thought to have become leaders of a major terrorist organization like Al Qaeda in Yemen, a mostly homegrown group that experts say has been reinforced by foreign fighters.

Long considered a haven for jihadists, Yemen, a desperately poor country in the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, has witnessed a rising number of attacks over the past year. American officials say they suspect that Mr. Shihri may have been involved in the car bombings outside the American Embassy in Sana last September that killed 16 people, including six attackers.

In the Internet statement, Al Qaeda in Yemen identified its new deputy leader as Abu Sayyaf al-Shihri, saying he returned from Guantánamo to his native Saudi Arabia and then traveled to Yemen “more than 10 months ago.” That corresponds roughly to the return of Mr. Shihri, a Saudi who was released from Guantánamo in November 2007. Abu Sayyaf is a nom de guerre, commonly used by jihadists in place of their real name or first name.

A Saudi security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Shihri had disappeared from his home in Saudi Arabia last year after finishing the rehabilitation program.

Complete article.

What a total mindblower!!! Jihadi rehab in Saudi Barbaria didn’t take! And of course B Hussein Obama wants to shut Guantanamo Bay Resort down and move scumbags like this IN TO THE UNITED STATES PRISON SYSTEM. And that fat sumbitch John Murtha wants to move terrorists into our back yards in Pennsylvania.

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  • coffee

    Looks to me like Barack is off to a great start, on track to keep his word and restore some international credibility for the US

  • Beej

    A fairly long life has taught me to be wary of politicians. Obama is the most charismatic politician I have seen since Churchill and Hitler (!), and I hope he can bring about that which America (and the world) desperately needs. But charisma is only window dressing. We'll just have to wait and see. Guantanamo has always troubled me, speaking as a British Australian. On the one hand, the detention of people without trial is an affront to all we in the West hold dear, while torture of such people is beyond the pale and cannot be justified. Easy for me to say such things, isn't it? Americans in their millions would agree with my sentiments and now rejoice that the Prez has announced his decision to close the place. And yet ………… Islamic aggression towards America and her allies, and America's defence of her values, are more than a sporting contest conducted under a clear set of rules. No game, this. People die. Civilian aircraft are used as weapons. Islamic murderers do not play by the rules, but cry foul when America establishes Guantanamo in response to the threat that confronts it. The liberal world smartly takes the view that it's OK for one side to behave bestially, but the other side must play the game with a stiff upper lip. Bush, for all his faults, fought fire with fire – in a low-key way, let it be agreed. Obama, it seems, is willing to release terrorists back into circulation, and the liberal world applauds his "statesmanship". One of these days one of the freed ones might fly an aircraft into the White House, or bomb the school attended by his little girls. Fanciful? Of course. Impossible? Nope.
    Obama needs to realise that any decency extended to Islamic militants will never cause them to mend their ways, but will serve only to fuel their fires of hatred. They regard his decency as weakness; that Allah is on their side. Liberals will sleep content that America is, in their view, regaining the moral high ground, but there will be, in all likelihood, a terrible price to pay, although I hope I am wrong. Doubt it, though. I see a parallel between Obama's decision on Guantanamo and Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy, and I am frightened.
    The question arises: why did not the Americans just shoot those who were to become Guantanamo captives? It would have saved a deal of trouble and bad press, had it been done skilfully. But such is not the American way: they feel deeply ashamed of My Lai, and strive never to transgress in such fashion again, even though dispatching Islamic terrorists is a far call from what happened in 1968 (1968?).
    To hell with the moral high ground. Give me the SAFE ground!


    What would be the COST of that so-called 'credibility'?
    200 Americans dead? 500?

    When one of these gentlemen get the controls of an AIRBUS 380
    crowded with HUNDREDS of people and dive into the Louvre Museum,
    I hope you'll still give Obama and America your 'credibility'.