Obama is going out with a determination to inflict as much possible terror on America as possible.
From Daily Mail: President Obama is planning to transfer at least 22 additional Guantanamo Bay detainees out of the military detention center before he leaves office later this month, DailyMail.com has learned.
The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo – who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group’s top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based U.S. detention facility for more than a decade. According to a military source briefed on the process, 22 detainees are being prepared for transfer out of the camp, also known as Gitmo, before January 20.
Although the White House has not specified which inmates will be transferred out – or which foreign countries have agreed to accept them – it has indicated that this will be a priority for Obama in his final days in office. ‘I can’t speak to any individual notifications that have been made to Congress or give you a specific preview about upcoming transfers,’ said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. ‘I think I would expect at this point additional transfers to be announced before January 20th.’
Obama will likely focus on moving the 23 detainees who have been ‘cleared for transfer’ – a group that includes the alleged head of al Qaeda’s bomb-manufacturing operation in eastern Afghanistan, the head of al Qaeda’s Tunisian faction in Afghanistan, and senior weapons trainers.
Those held in Guantanamo in recent years have been dubbed ‘the worst of the worst’ by military and intelligence officials. But the move would come close to fulfilling Obama’s campaign promise from nearly a decade ago to close the U.S. military detention center located at the base in Cuba.
But it is vehemently opposed by Republicans and the incoming Trump administration. The president-elect has already warned against any transfers at all, meaning the 22 planned moves will be another source of tension in the transition.
Fifty-nine enemy combatants in total still remain at Guantanamo, including terror ‘mastermind’ Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two of the ’20th hijackers’ for the 9/11 attacks, and the strategists behind the USS Cole bombing of 2000. The group includes al Qaeda henchmen from around the world who are trained in lethal military tactics – ranging from sniper assassins and rocket-propelled grenade operators, to explosives and chemical weapons experts.
The Guantanamo Bay detention center has come under significant criticism due to the indefinite detention of some prisoners, many of whom are held without official charges. Obama has promised since his 2008 campaign to shut down the prison. Although US military officials have issued reports explaining the reasons for continued detentions, many of the accusations are based on claims from other captives or from intelligence that cannot be verified in court.
Supporters of the prison say it is necessary to keep it open due to the national security threat posed by the detainees and the difficulty of compiling a traditional legal case against battlefield terrorists.
President-elect Trump pushed back on Obama’s plan to release additional detainees this week, calling it ‘dangerous.’
‘There should be no further releases from Gitmo,’ wrote Trump on Twitter this week. ‘These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.’
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