Obama sends mixed message by releasing, killing terrorists
Freed Gitmo detainees return to battlefield
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.”
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.