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Gitmo Lawyer "Completely Shocked" His Terrorist Client Returned to Terrorism

11:34 AM, Mar 26, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Gitmo Lawyer "Completely Shocked" His Terrorist Client Returned to Terrorism

Newsweek follows up on Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio's story on the Gitmo detainee who's returned to the battlefield after being released by the Obama administration:

A Guantánamo detainee released last December has now returned to the battlefield to fight with Taliban insurgents, according to three U.S. counterterrorism officials who have reviewed intelligence reports on the matter. If the reports are accurate, the detainee, known as Abdul Hafiz, would be the first Guantánamo inmate released by the Obama administration to have returned to the front lines of terrorism.

Among other alleged terrorist activities, Hafiz was accused by U.S. authorities to have been implicated in the murder of an International Committee of the Red Cross worker. But an interagency task force conducting the administration’s review of the cases of all Gitmo detainees concluded that the evidence against him was murky and uncertain so he should be freed. Administration officials noted that several government departments involved in national security—including intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Justice Department, State Department and Homeland Security—unanimously have to approve the release of individual Gitmo detainees.

A U.S. counterterrorism official acknowledged: “He’s a bad guy and it’s no surprise that he’s doing bad things.” This Justice Department press release, dated Dec. 20, 2009, confirms that Abdul Hafiz was one of a group of four Afghan detainees sent back from Gitmo to Afghanistan at that time.  [...]

"I'm completely shocked," said Steven Killpack, a Utah public defender who represented Abdul Hafiz in a federal lawsuit challenging his detention, when told today of reports that his client was now fighting with the Taliban.  "There was absolutely nothing that was brought to our attention that he constituted a danger to any Americans or that he had any ongoing affiliation with any group that was hostile to America. He never indicated any hostility to the American government." Killpack also said that, as far as he knew, Abdul Hafiz was not facing any outstanding charges in Afghanistan and he was being returned to his homeland to "resume his regular life."    

The first public report that a Gitmo detainee released by the Obama administration had returned to the battlefield was posted by the Long War Journal.

As Joscelyn and Roggio reported:

During the more than six years he was held at Guantanamo, Hafiz was repeatedly identified as “a suspect in the murder of an International Red Cross worker in Afghanistan.”

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