By Walid Shoebat
While having mercy is a Christian virtue, releasing Muslim terrorists is a Muslim virtue and Obama is excercizing it by releasing more terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Obama happens to have just released five more Yemeni detainees from the prison camps in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday to far-flung locations — four to the Arabian Sea nation of Oman, and a fifth to Estonia in Northern Europe — in continuing transfers that have stirred protest from Congress. The five, possible Osama bin Laden bodyguard and another was captured during a raid that swept up a prized CIA captive called Abu Zubaydah who was marked for death by Jordanian officials in February 2000 over his suspected role in the foiled bombings of an American hotel and several tourist sites in Jordan in December 1999. The others were arrested for being spotted with the type of Casio watches used for detonaton of bombs.
A day earlier leading Republicans, notified in advance of the transfers, called a Capitol Hill news conference to seek more restrictions on the release of detainees at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba, which as of Wednesday numbered 122 prisoners.
“The decision to transfer a detainee is made only after detailed, specific conversations with the receiving country about the potential threat a detainee may pose after transfer,” said Paul Lewis, the Pentagon’s special envoy for Guantánamo prison closure, in announcing the latest release.
All five freed detainees got to Guantánamo in the prison camps’ early days. None was ever charged with a crime and all had been cleared for transfer for years. But, as Yemenis, they could not go home because U.S. officials feared they would be lured to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group that Wednesday claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on the French satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
But the announcement that four other long-held Yemeni captives in their 30s and 40s had gone to Oman came as a surprise. The nation shares a border with both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
But it’s a stable, steadfast U.S. ally that has been so far spared militant Muslim violence, and lately emerged as a pivotal partner in U.S. diplomacy with Iran. It hosted high-level nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran late last year.
This week’s transfer left 54 cleared captives among the prison’s 122 detainees, 47 them Yemeni. The other remaining captives include 10 men with war crimes cases, one of them already convicted; 35 so-called “forever prisoners” deemed too dangerous to release; and 23 men once considered candidates for trial who are on a list to plead their case for release before a U.S. national security parole board.
Those released Wednesday were identified as:
▪ Khadr al Yafi, 44, held as detainee 034. He got to Guantánamo on Jan. 16, 2002 and, like many Yemenis there was considered at one point to be a possible Osama bin Laden bodyguard. But by April 2007, a prison camp assessment approved his release.
Abd al Rahman Abdullah Abu Shabati, 32, held as detainee 224. He got to Guantanamo Feb. 9, 2002. The detention center recommended the Defense Department release him by January 2007
▪ Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif, in his 30s or 40s, was held as detainee 259. He was approved for release by January 2007. He got to Guantánamo on April 26, 2002 where, according to prison records, military intelligence considered him a potential threat because the model of Casio watch he wore was used in improvised explosive devices.
Mohammed al Khatib, 34, held as detainee 689, was approved for release in 2009 by an Obama administration national security task force. He got to Guantánamo June 19, 2002 and also wore a Casio watch. Pakistani security forces captured him in Faisalabad, Pakistan, according to his prisoner profile, in a raid that swept up a prized CIA captive called Abu Zubaydah. Guantánamo intelligence analysts at one point considered capture that day a threat indicator, too, although many of the men sent to Guantánamo from the Faisalabad raid have since been freed.
▪ Qader, 31, held as prisoner 690 went to Estonia. Among the youngest of Guantánamo’s detainees, he arrived at age 18 on June 19, 2002 and was likewise captured in the Faisalabad raids, according to his prison profile provided to McClatchy newspapers from the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
Wednesday’s transfers were the first since the U.S. sent five captives to Kazakhstan for resettlement on Dec. 30, a trip that was delayed by a day because a U.S. Air Force C-17’s mechanical problems.
That trip cost $1,646,500, said Air Force Col. Linda Pepin, chief of public affairs at the U.S. Transportation Command. The figure included $110,500 to scramble a second C-17 from an air base in Charleston, S.C., to complete the mission, aerial fueling, contractor support and maintenance, she added.
The Obama administration, last year Obama in May secured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release in exchange for releasing five senior Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, a swap that sparked anger on Capitol Hill from both Democrats and Republicans.
President Barack Obama is moving aggressively to shrink the Muslim terrorist prison population at Guantánamo, whittling the number of detainees nearly in half since he took office, which in reality is a Muslim, not a Christian virtue of a convert from Islam to Christianity as he claims to be.