The Obama administration has released five more prisoners from Guantanamo Bay after an administration task force determined they “no longer posed a threat”.
The Department of Defense announced Thursday that three of the terrorists were sent to Georgia and two to Slovakia for resettlement.
The Pentagon said the names of the three now former prisoners resettled in Georgia are Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani.
The two sent to Slovakia were Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai.
Four of the terrorists that were moved out of the detention facility were Yemeni detainees and the other one was Tunisian.
- Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai: An alleged al-Qaida facilitator who operated out of Iran and secured travel documents for extremists trying to enter Afghanistan, according to Department of Defense information obtained by WikiLeaks.
- Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi: A Saudi Arabian who claimed Yemeni citizenship, and a reported member of al-Qaida or its network with links to key al-Qaida facilitators, per WikiLeaks-obtained documents.
- Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim: An alleged al-Qaida member who reportedly traveled with Osama bin Laden throughout Afghanistan, according to information obtained by The New York Times.
- Abdul Khaled Al-Bandana: An al-Qaida associated fighter who allegedly fought in a bin Laden brigade, according to The Guardian.
The Tunisian detainee:
- Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti, was a reported member of the Tunisian Combatant Group, an Islamic terrorist organization with ties to the al-Qaida network, according to WikiLeaks information.
Hakim was the first prisoner from Yemen to be released since 2010. Yemenis make up the majority of men cleared for release because the U.S. is reluctant to send prisoners to the unstable country.
The group was among dozens of low-level prisoners at Guantanamo who were determined to no longer pose a threat by an administration task force in 2009.
“We are very grateful to our partners for these generous humanitarian gestures,” U.S. State Department envoy Clifford Sloan said. “We appreciate the strong support we are receiving from our friends and allies around the globe.”
However House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon slammed the releases in a statement Thursday, saying he is concerned former Gitmo detainees will rejoin terror organizations.
“What the Obama administration is doing is dangerous and, frankly, reckless,” McKeon, R-Calif., said. “They have chosen many times to put politics above national security. It’s time they stop playing with fire and start doing what’s right. Until we can assure the terrorists stay off the battlefield, they must stay behind bars.”
“If just one U.S. soldier loses their life over these transfers, we will have failed in our duty to the American people,” said McKeon.
The four Yemenis all had been in U.S. custody since 2002 after having been captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
One of them, Yafai, came into U.S. custody after having been arrested in Iran and handed over to the Afghans. According to an April 2008 assessment, he was judged to be a high risk for returning to his past activities and was recommended for continued detention.
“Detainee is a member of al Qaeda who served as a travel facilitator, providing false travel documents for Arab extremists transiting Iran for entry into Afghanistan,” the assessment said.
Sliti, the Tunisian, was a member of the Tunisian Combatant Group, an Islamist extremist organization founded by his cousin. He was captured in December 2001 by the Pakistani army and handed over to U.S. custody.
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