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Supreme Court Shuts Door on Gitmo Detainees’ Appeal

11:19 AM, Apr 19, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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Several other Uighur detainees who have been transferred also admitted that Haq ran their camp. It is important to note that they admitted this while downplaying any ties between their organization and al Qaeda or the Taliban. They claimed they were simply Uighur separatists, not hardened ideologues like al Qaeda members. Their training at Abdul Haq’s shows otherwise.

The Uighur’s story illustrates the tension between the legal wrangling over detainees and the realities of war. Prior to his demise, Abdul Haq would not have been allowed into the U.S. legally. He was a wanted terrorist who American servicemen sought out and killed.

At the same time, however, a D.C. District Judge ruled that Haq’s trainees should be freed inside the U.S. In fact, in 2009, the Obama administration itself floated the idea of freeing the Uighur detainees inside the continental U.S. as a sign of good faith to our European allies, who were considering taking in some Gitmo detainees at the time. (Around 30 have since been resettled in Europe.) Obama’s own Guantanamo Review Task Force concluded that this wasn’t such a good idea.

In the end, a D.C. Circuit Court overruled the District Court’s decision. And the remaining Uighur detainees will have to reconsider resettlement options offered by the U.S. government. 

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

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