The Magazine

A Few Bad Men

The Obama administration’s ­astonishing decision to send six Gitmo terrorists to Yemen.

Jan 18, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 17 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

According to memos prepared for Taher’s case, he “was sent a personal greeting from the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence” upon his arrival in South Asia, meaning his arrival was expected. Taher was also “recognized by a senior al Qaeda operative” at the Issa House, further indicating that it wasn’t just a student dormitory. Taher allegedly made a number of damning comments while at Guantánamo too, asking that he “be considered a terrorist.” For his part, al Rami was asked if he believed in jihad during one hearing, and he replied: “I do not believe that any Muslim does not believe in jihad. Even infidels.” In other words, everyone believes in jihad—whether they wage it or are its victims.

These are the six men who the Obama administration deemed least likely to pose a threat in the future and transferred to a country with an “ongoing security situation.” And there is every indication that the Obama administration would have transferred more if the world had not woken up to the terrorist threat emanating out of Yemen on Christmas Day. 

If these were the least worrisome Yemeni detainees held at Guantánamo, then what does that say about the rest of the Yemeni prisoners there? And will the Obama administration reverse course yet again and take a chance in transferring them? 

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers