8:11 AM, Jun 30, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Although President Obama has not yet fulfilled his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the population there is gradually shrinking as detainees are repatriated or released into the custody of foreign governments. The Miami Herald noted recently that of 116 remaining detainees, "52 are now approved for transfer... Ten other prisoners are in war-crimes proceedings, and another 54 are either candidates for war crimes trials or forever prisoners." As these detainees and others captured in counter-terrorism operations but not held in Guantanamo are processed and eventually transferred or otherwise released, the State Department is funding a program aimed at "strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders and the reintegration of returning foreign terrorist fighters."
The State Department's Bureau of Counterterrorism recently announced a grant opportunity totaling $1.3 million entitled "Engaging Civil Society in Rehabilitation and Reintegration." The grant documents explain what the State Department hopes to accomplish:
CT [Bureau of Counterterrorism] invites organizations to submit proposal applications outlining a project concept and capacity to develop and manage such a program across three or more geographic regions. In pursuit of CT’s goal of reducing the recidivism of many released violent extremist offenders, this project supports the following CT objectives: build the capacity of civil society actors for the purpose of reintegrating violent extremist offenders and returning foreign terrorist fighters into communities; facilitate relationships of trust among civil society actors and governmental civilian and security sector authorities as concerns reintegration and the creation of supportive interpersonal networks; draw upon civil society capabilities to counter radicalization in prisons; and formulate, validate, and share good practices in this thematic area.
The document further explains the efforts to "counter radicalization in prisons":
Draw upon civil society capabilities to counter radicalization in prisons, especially with respect to legal services, counseling and basic and technical education provided to nonviolent, non-extremist offenders who may be falling under the influence of violent extremist ideologues and terrorist recruiters owing to comingling of inmates with very different risk profiles.
The grant notes that many returning terrorist fighters "are unlikely ever to be prosecuted successfully," and therefore "[i]nfluential members of communities, social support organizations, private sector employers, faith leaders, educational institutions, families and other non-governmental actors all can play vital roles in reintegration." The State Department hopes programs can be developed to help in "developing the networks, roles, and capacity of civil society and other non-governmental actors, leading ideally to stronger and more effective partnerships with governments."
The basis of the programs sought by the grant offering is the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Rome Memorandum on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders, and organizations applying for grant funds are encouraged to gain familiarity with that documents when formulating plans. The Memorandum contains 25 "good practices" to be observed during the process of reintroducing offenders into society.
An email to the State Department seeking to clarify which countries would be covered by the rehabilitation and reintegration program was not returned.
12:18 PM, Jan 25, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it won't be easy to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The outgoing Pentagon chief made the comments to NPR:
Can Obama keep his revised promise to close the Guantanamo facility before leaving office? "It's going to be very difficult," Hagel said, "especially if the Congress further restricts where these last 122 detainees go." Congress has already barred them from being sent to the United States.
10:27 PM, Jan 14, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Defense announced this evening that five more terrorists have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay. This time, four have been transferred to Oman and one to Estonia. Here's the press release announcing the release to Oman:
Detainee Transfer Announced
The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammad Al Yafi, Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati, and Mohammed Ahmed Salam from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Oman.
Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
We don’t expect much. It’s been nearly six years. We’re long past the point of hoping that Barack Obama will adopt policies that deserve our grudging approval, if not enthusiastic endorsement, particularly on foreign policy and national security.
But we do expect something.
They weren’t kidnapped. They’re not refugees.Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
On Sunday, December 7, a U.S. military medical aircraft landed in South America, to deliver six jihadists from the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to Uruguay. For more than a dozen years, these six men had been held as dangerous enemies of the United States. Suddenly, Uruguay treated them as refugees, even victims, and the Obama administration didn’t object.
Jihadist Moazzam Begg, the Gitmo snitch
8:01 AM, Dec 17, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg is back in the news this week. On Sunday, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Begg to get his perspective on the recently released report, written by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, concerning the CIA’s controversial interrogation program. Zakaria teased Begg’s segment at the beginning of his show, saying, “Moazzam Begg wants an apology. He was held in U.S. prisons and says he was abused and witnessed torture. What is his response to the report?
3:41 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
House Speaker John Boehner has issued this statement in response to a press report indicating that the Obama administration might bring the Gitmo terrorists to America:
2:21 PM, Jun 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The War on Terror may be over but the warriors seem to be keeping busy. Which could mean that those already in captivity should be kept there and that space should be available as more are captured.
4:53 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Did the detainees in Guantanamo Bay know about the transfer of five senior Taliban commanders before members of Congress?
5:35 PM, Jun 7, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
There is a concerted push to sanitize the records of four of the five Taliban leaders transferred from Guantanamo to Qatar. But before delving into some of the specifics, let us recount the basic facts.
Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
“Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that. That’s what every mom and dad who sees a son or daughter sent over into [a] war theater should expect not just from their commander in chief but the United States of America. . . . The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule.
Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
President Barack Obama and his advisers have long sought to release the five most dangerous Taliban commanders held in U.S. custody at Guantánamo. Bipartisan opposition scuttled a possible deal in 2012 because of a consensus that the “Taliban Five,” as they’ve come to be known, posed too great a threat. Even Senate Democrats were unwilling to go along with the administration’s plans then. But last week the president had the Taliban Five transferred to Qatar.
11:08 AM, Jun 3, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At the White House press briefing Monday, Jay Carney was not asked directly about his statement from June 2013 that "we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance w
Taliban Hails 'Great Victory'6:42 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, doesn’t make statements often. Omar is so reclusive that some have even speculated that he is either dead, or otherwise incapacitated in Pakistan.