Obama sends mixed mes­sage by re­leas­ing, killing ter­ror­ists

Freed Gitmo de­tainees re­turn to bat­tle­field

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

The Pen­ta­gon is boast­ing of the al Qaeda op­er­a­tives it has killed to make Amer­ica safer, yet the same types of ter­ror­ists have been trans­ferred out of the Guan­tanamo prison to coun­tries with poor his­to­ries of se­cu­rity, and some have ended up back on the bat­tle­field.

The prac­tice of killing ter­ror­ists with one hand and re­leas­ing them with the other points out the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s mixed mes­sage as fed­eral agen­cies push to evict nearly all de­tainees from Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba.

Repub­li­cans fear that, post­elec­tion, Pres­i­dent Obama will de­cree the prison closed and move the last cadre of ir­re­deemable ter­ror­ists, such as Sept. 11 mas­ter­mind Khalid Sheikh Mo­hammed, to a U.S. prison.

And con­ser­va­tives are crit­i­ciz­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­plen­ish­ment of al Qaeda ranks with trans­ferred de­tainees.

“The hypocrisy of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion knows no limit,” said re­tired Army of­fi­cer Robert Magin­nis, author of the counter-ji­had book “Never Sub­mit.” “On one hand, they boast about bag­ging al Qaeda bomb mak­ers, and on the other, they are re­leas­ing known bomb mak­ers from Gitmo.”

A House com­mit­tee chair­man last month ac­cused the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of know­ingly send­ing Gitmo ter­ror­ists to coun­tries with lax mon­i­tor­ing.

The Pen­ta­gon has posted a half-dozen press re­leases in re­cent months an­nounc­ing big al Qaeda kills.

For ex­am­ple, the Pen­ta­gon an­nounced in Sep­tem­ber it had ex­ter­mi­nated French na­tional David Dru­geon, an al Qaeda bomb maker in Syria.

“As an ex­plo­sives ex­pert, he trained other ex­trem­ists in Syria and sought to plan ex­ter­nal at­tacks against Western tar­gets,” said Pen­ta­gon press sec­re­tary Peter Cook. “Dru­geon’s death will de­grade and dis­rupt on­go­ing ex­ter­nal op­er­a­tions of al Qaeda against the United States, its al­lies and part­ners.”

In other words, Dru­geon’s death makes Amer­ica safer.

A few months later, the Pen­ta­gon an­nounced it was trans­fer­ring one of al Qaeda’s best bomber mak­ers from Cuba to the gov­ern­ment of Bos­nia. Whether Egyp­tian Tariq Mah­moud Ahmed al Sawah goes back to the ex­plo­sives busi­ness and shares his knowl­edge with ji­hadis is un­clear.

But his per­son­nel file at Gitmo de­picted him as a hard­ened ter­ror­ist per­son­ally praised by Osama bin Laden. Sawah was in­stru­men­tal in the de­vel­op­ment of a shoe bomb that could be se­creted onto an air­liner to blow it out of the sky, killing all on board.

In April the Pen­ta­gon an­nounced the trans­fer of two other al Qaeda ex­plo­sives ex­perts.

In an­other kill an­nounce­ment, the Pen­ta­gon said on April 1 that it had con­ducted an airstrike that likely elim­i­nated Has­san Ali Dhoore, who was ac­tive in al Qaeda’s al-Shabab wing in So­ma­lia.

“Re­mov­ing Dhoore from the bat­tle­field, the Pen­ta­gon said, “would be a sig­nif­i­cant blow to al-Shabab’s op­er­a­tional plan­ning and abil­ity to con­duct at­tacks against the gov­ern­ment of the Fed­eral Repub­lic of So­ma­lia, its cit­i­zens, U.S. part­ners in the re­gion, and against Amer­i­cans abroad.”

DE­PART­MENT OF DE­FENSE

Crit­ics of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pol­icy to­ward cap­tured ji­hadis say the White House of­fers a mixed mes­sage of re­leas­ing ter­ror­ists while us­ing the other to kill them on the bat­tle­field.

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