President Obama has opened a new front in his hard line against the incoming Republican Congress by releasing more detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, against lawmakers’ objections.
The Pentagon announced Thursday that four al Qaeda fighters from Yemen, including a senior figure who facilitated travel to Afghanistan for Arab extremists, and a Tunisian extremist would be transferred to Slovakia and Georgia.
The transfers leave 143 detainees at Guantanamo, which Obama has vowed to close. Republican lawmakers, who have been pressing the administration to stop releasing detainees amid reports that some former prisoners had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, were furious.
“If just one U.S. soldier loses their life over these transfers, we will have failed in our duty to the American people,” said outgoing House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon.