Gird your loins, America. President Obama intends to empty out Guantanamo Bay and send scores of suspected Muslim terror operatives back to their jihadist-coddling native countries. Goaded by anti-war activists and soft-on-terror attorneys (including those from Attorney General Eric Holder's former private law firm), Obama announced Thursday that he'll lift a ban on sending up to 90 Yemeni detainees home and will initiate other stalled transfers out of the compound.
This radical appeasement of Obama's left flank is a surefire recipe for more Benghazis, more U.S.S. Coles and more innocent lives at risk.
A little more than three years ago, the White House assured Americans that it would not release Yemeni detainees back to their al-Qaida-infested land. In January 2010, international press outlets reported that at least a dozen former Guantanamo Bay prisoners had rejoined al-Qaida to fight in Yemen. Yemen was also the terror training ground of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the jihadist who attempted to bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day in 2009.
Abdulmutallab reportedly told the FBI there were countless al-Qaida trainees like him in Yemen. The CIA knew of Abdulmutallab four months before his bombing attempt and was aware of him meeting with terrorists in Yemen a month before his arrest. British media also reported that counterterrorism and intelligence officers were "aware of several British nationals and British residents who had trained at camps in Yemen's 'ungoverned spaces.'"
From the very first days of Obama's presidency, Americans in Yemen have been endangered. In late January 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen came under gunfire. American diplomatic staff had been warned of a pending attack. That same month, two former Yemeni Gitmo detainees, Said Ali al-Shihri and Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, released a video flipping America the bird.
They publicly recommitted to "aid the religion," "establish the rightly guided caliphate" and "fight against our enemies" after undergoing terrorism "rehab" in Saudi Arabia. Charlie Sheen's rehab worked better than that of the Sauds.
Military review panels indicated that al-Shihri had traveled to Afghanistan two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, trained and funded jihadists outside Kabul, and coordinated travel for al-Qaida before being captured and held at Gitmo. After his release by the Bush administration, intel officials say he was involved in the deadly bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, in September 2008.
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