Pentagon announces fourth Guantánamo transfer this month–28lh., b26
The Pentagon announced on Monday the release of a Saudi detainee from Guantánamo Bay back to Saudi Arabia, the fourth such transfer to three different countries this month.
Muhammed Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani, 40, had been held at Guantánamo for 14 years, according to official documents posted by The New York Times. His release brings the facility’s total population to 103.The White House has been attempting to speed up the number of transfers in hope of closing the detention facility before President Obama’s second term is up.
The Pentagon on Jan. 6 released Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby toGhana. On Jan. 8, Faez Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari was released back to his home country of Kuwait. The administration is expected to release 13 more detainees by the end of this month, according to defense officials.
“If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law-abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities at home and abroad,” his file said.
” according to a Pentagon statement. The board consists of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
A pair of leading Senate foreign policy hawks are pushing for a review of President Obama’s continued detainee transfers out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, suggesting he’s risking national security.
“We believe that Congress must conduct a thorough review of the administration’s actions which are endangering the security of Americans and our allies,” they wrote in Monday’s letter. “We respectfully request that the Senate Armed Services Committee convene a hearing related to Guantanamo detainee transfers without delay.”
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough doubled down on that promise during an interview this weekend with “Fox News Sunday.”
Administration officials have pledged for months to hand over a plan to Congress on closing the facility, though Republicans have signaled that any proposal will be dead on arrival.
Ayotte, who faces a tough reelection battle in New Hampshire, and Graham, who ended a presidential bid last month, said they were “deeply concerned” by McDonough’s comments and that the administration is continuing “to transfer high-risk detainees who are likely to reengage in terrorism and put Americans and our allies at risk.”
They doubled down on that in Monday’s letter, saying Americans are “left in the dark” about the potential terrorist connections of detainees and that a recently passed defense policy bill “makes clear Congress’ expectation that the administration be more forthcoming regarding the detainees at Guantanamo.”
The Armed Services Committee currently doesn’t have a hearing on Guantanamo scheduled.
Dustin Walker, a spokesman for McCain, said that the Arizona Republican “will continue to work closely with Senators Ayotte and Graham to push for a comprehensive detention strategy that gives our military and intelligence professionals the tools they need to defend the nation. ”
source-the hill, kristina wong, jordain carney, denis mcdonough, dustin walker