The Blog

Can Two Ex-Gitmo Detainees, Now in Germany, Visit the U.S. as Tourists?

4:22 PM, Sep 20, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Berlin

Can Two Ex-Gitmo Detainees, Now in Germany, Visit the U.S. as Tourists?

The German government recently granted residency to ex-Guantanamo detainees Ahmed Mohammed al-Shurfa and Mahmoud Salim al-Ali, who arrived last Thursday in Germany. While the Bild, Germany’s largest daily newspaper, editorialized against the relocation of the two Taliban fighters (both connected with training at al Qaeda terror camps in Afghanistan), Germany's interior minister defended the decision, claiming that his nation "made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center." 

However, Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police labor union DpolG, raised the security alarm bells, and said, “We cannot rule out that the men will not once again join a terrorist scene.”

Is Germany, a country where Hezbollah is a legal entity with 900 active members and where pro-Iranian revolutionary Islamists enjoy wide organizational latitude, the right placement country for two hardcore jihadists? Ahmed Mohammed al-Shurfa, who was born in Saudi Arabia, was closely connected with the terror group Hamas. He will be absorbed into Germany's generous social welfare system in Hamburg, the launching pad of the 9/11 attacks. Mahmud Salim al-Ali, who was born in Syria, will be based in the West German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and will also enjoy German tax-payer funds for his social assistance needs. 

Given the recidivism rate among former Guantanamo inmates (See Thomas Joscelyn’s pieces here and here), German tax payers might very well end up subsidizing a home-grown al Qaeda base.

According to the Spiegel, the deal brokered between the United States and Germany could enable the two Islamists to visit the U.S.: “Put more simply, it means the inmates released and sent to Germany are not dangerous and could even enter the US as tourists.”

 

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers