Surprise: Released Gitmo Detainee Now an Al Qaeda Leader in Yemen

Guy Benson
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Posted: Dec 10, 2015 2:35 PM
Surprise: Released Gitmo Detainee Now an Al Qaeda Leader in Yemen

Yemen, you may recall, is a glittering Smart Power success story according to our president -- whose fixation with emptying and closing the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility has placed political posturing above national security prudence. The latest, via Thomas Joscelyn's Long War Journal:


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani. In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012. Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.” ... Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.

You read that right: Qosi was a loyalist and personal associate of Osama Bin Laden, and we cut him loose in 2012 as part of a plea deal.  After his release to his native Sudan, Qosi traveled to Yemen, where he enlisted as a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula (AQAP), one of the terrorist group's most active and malignant strains.  Who could have seen this coming?  Oh:

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files portray al Qosi as a devoted follower of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. In the JTF-GTMO threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts deemed him to be a “high” risk to the US and its allies. “Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released,” the memo reads.

He was released and promptly returned to jihad, as predicted by our analysts.  Recidivism among ex-Gitmo detainees is an ongoing, bipartisan problem.  It was revealed that one of the suspected Benghazi attack ringleaders was once held at the US military facility in Cuba.  He was freed by the Bush administration.  (To this day, only one Benghazi attacker has been taken into American custody; he's being tried as a civilian).  Having been repeatedly thwarted by strong Congressional majorities -- from the Reid/Pelosi era, all the way up through last month -- the Obama administration is reportedly still mulling options to disregard both Congress' will and the law by closing Gitmo down anyway.  The American people have adamantly and consistently opposed Obama's reckless, obsessive "I'm not Bush" legacy project:


In order to grease the skids for this potential last-minute, lame duck gambit, the Obama administration has transferred and released dozens of detainees across the world -- including several men US officials have deemed to be recidivism risks.  This includes the so-called 'Taliban Five,' who were traded for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, an illegal episode in which the Obama administration negotiated with terrorists.  I'll leave you with some better news from our never-endinglethal game of jihadi whack-a-mole: