With the expedited release this month of 14 detainees, the total now stands at 93.
This is nothing to celebrate.
In reducing these numbers, the White House has freed dangerous terrorists and set aside military and intelligence assessments warning about the risks of doing so. The Obama administration has deceived recipient countries about the threats posed by the jihadists they’ve accepted. And President Obama has repeatedly misled the American people about Guantanamo, the detainees held there, and the consequences of releasing them.
On Jan. 6, as part of the Obama administration’s accelerated Guantanamo process,Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef was transferred to Ghana, along with another detainee named Khalid Mohammed Salih al Dhuby. Ghana’s government portrayed the deal as an act of “humanitarian assistance,” likening the Yemeni men to nonthreatening refugees from Rwanda and Syria, noting that they “were detained in Guantanamo but have been cleared of any involvement in terrorist activities, and are being released.”
That description isn’t true for either of the men. Mr. Atef, in particular, is a cause for concern. Long before his transfer, the intelligence analysts at Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) assessed him as a “high risk” and “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.” (The JTF-GTMO threat assessments of 760 Guantanamo detainees, many written in 2008, were posted online in 2011 by WikiLeaks.) It is easy to understand the analysts’ worry about Mr. Atef. He was, they said, “a fighter in Usama bin Laden’s former 55th Arab Brigade and is an admitted member of the Taliban.” He trained at al Farouq, the infamous al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, “participated in hostilities against US and Coalition forces, and continues to demonstrate his support of UBL and extremism.”
Most ominously, the report warns that he “has threatened to kill US citizens on multiple occasions including a specific threat to cut their throats upon release.”