The Blog

John Brennan On Gitmo Recidivism

Terrorism is not an ordinary crime.

6:25 PM, Feb 14, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

For example, Evan Kohlmann of the NEFA Foundation has produced an excellent analysis of eleven Saudis who were all properly identified as terrorists, detained at Gitmo, transferred to Saudi custody and then returned to terrorism. The eleven includes Said al Shihri (deputy of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or “AQAP”), Ibrahim Rubaish (the current chief ideologue for AQAP), and two others who have been killed in shootouts. One of the eleven has since been returned to Saudi custody.

Other examples of Gitmo recidivists include: Abdullah al Ajmi (blew himself up in Iraq), Hani Abdo Shalaan (killed while plotting suicide attack on British embassy in Yemen), Mullah Zakir (leader of Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan), Abdullah Mehsud (Taliban commander killed during raid by Pakistanis), Shah Mohammed (killed while fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan), Abdullah Majid al Naimi (who was arrested in Saudi Arabia, according to the DoD, for being involved in terrorist facilitation and having known ties to al Qaeda), Mohammed Ismail (recaptured, according to the DoD, after “participating in an attack against U.S. forces near Kandahar”), Mohammed Bin Ahmad Mizouz and Ibrahim Bin Shakaran (who were convicted of recruiting Moroccans to fight for Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq).

The preceding two paragraphs include twenty examples of recidivists. There are easily 20 to 30 more recidivists who are identifiable in publicly-available information that can be retrieved through online searches. The Pentagon also claims it has classified information indicating that dozens more have returned to terrorism. Again, the total current estimate is north of 100.

Yet, here is Shayana Kadidal, who is a lawyer for the Gitmo detainees, claiming that fewer than half a dozen Gitmo detainees have returned to terrorism. The detainees’ lawyers will simply say anything. The question is: Why do journalists cite them without noting their nonsense?

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