11:48 AM, Sep 4, 2015 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released its latest statistics on the number of former Guantanamo detainees who are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. As expected, there has been a slight increase in the number of ex-detainees who have rejoined the jihad.
The ODNI says that a total of 196 ex-Gitmo detainees, or 30 percent of the 653 total detainees transferred or released, are now either confirmed or suspected of reengaging. The number of confirmed recidivists (117) outnumbers those on the suspected list (79). The figures are current as of July 15, 2015.
For an ex-Gitmo inmate to be considered a “confirmed” recidivist, a “preponderance of information…identifies a specific former GTMO detainee as directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.” For those in the “suspected” category, “[p]lausible but unverified or single-source reporting indicat[es] a specific former GTMO detainee is directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.”
In the past, administration officials have argued that a significant number of the recidivists have been taken out of the game once again. But a look at the newly released numbers shows that most of the ex-detainees on the list are at large.
The ODNI’s figures show that 122 of the ex-detainees (62 percent of the total) who are confirmed or suspected of rejoining the fight are “not in custody,” with the remaining 74 being either dead or in custody.
The ODNI’s latest summary also reveals that (on net) 11 additional ex-Gitmo detainees have been added to the recidivist list in the first seven months of this year. As of January, the ODNI included 185 former detainees in its summary statistics, as compared to the 196 in the current tally.
A comparison of the two lists reveals that (on net) 10 of the newly added 11 ex-detainees were placed in the suspected recidivists category, with five being transferred during the Bush administration and the other five during Obama’s tenure. However, the overwhelming majority of the recidivists (184 out of 196) were transferred during the Bush administration.
The “reengagement” statistics do not include former detainees who are actively spreading anti-American propaganda, but who are not suspected of committing other acts. In addition, intelligence officials contacted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in the past have explained that the US does not know what numerous other ex-detainees are currently doing.
The number of former detainees on the ODNI’s list has grown significantly since 2008.
In June 2008, the Department of Defense reported that 37 former detainees were “confirmed or suspected” of returning to the fight. On January 13, 2009, a Pentagon spokesman said that number had climbed to 61. As of April 2009, the DoD found that same metric had risen further to 74. More than six years later, that figure has nearly tripled to 196.
1:54 PM, Aug 31, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Last Friday, I moderated a panel at Hudson Institute titled, “Why is Qassem Suleimani Smiling? The Iran Deal and Sanctions Relief for Terrorists.” (See video of the event here.) The panel’s focus was not speculative—for instance, how the regime might spend the signing bonus promised by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or how the deal might moderate the regime, or reconfigure Iranian society—but rather looked at the regime’s actual behavior over the last 36 years. In particular, the panel discussed Iran’s acts of terror against Americans, especially servicemen and women.
12:04 PM, Aug 27, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Hillary Clinton compared Republican views on federal funding for abortion and elective contraception to the views of terrorists. Speaking in Cleveland Thursday, Clinton criticized Republicans who want to limit federal funding for abortions as wanting to deny "access to health care."
"Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world, but it's a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be president of the United States," said Clinton. Watch the video below:
So why are we working with Iran?Aug 3, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 44 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
On July 21, the Pentagon announced that Muhsin al-Fadhli, an al Qaeda operative who had been wanted for more than a decade, was killed in an airstrike in Syria earlier in the month. Fadhli has been dead at least once before. In September 2014, the United States launched airstrikes against his so-called Khorasan Group (a cadre of al Qaeda veterans plotting attacks against the West), and some officials told the press that Fadhli had perished. That wasn’t true. Still, Defense Department officials are confident they got their man on July 8.
3:04 PM, May 5, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The United States is offering big pay outs to anyone who has "information" on key ISIS leaders. "The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is offering rewards for information on four key leaders of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
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.
10:01 PM, Jan 13, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House won't be calling jihadists adherents to "radical Islam." At least, that's the reasonable take away from this extraordinary exchange the White House press secretary had today with a reporter:
Then apologizes.7:24 AM, Jan 6, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The year began on a rough note for the U.S. State Department's Think Again, Turn Away anti-terror program. On January 1, the State Department used the program's official Twitter account to tweet a photo collage accompanied by the message, "Entering 2015, taking time to honor some of terror’s many victims of 2014 and their families – RIP." However, none of the individuals appearing in the photos are believed to be dead, but rather held captive by terrorists.
'Obama’s Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot'9:01 AM, Oct 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Republican National Committee announced today a new ad campaign arguing "Obama's Foreign Policy Is on the Ballot" in next week's election.
Here's the ad:
4:55 PM, Sep 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The attacks on ISIS targets in Syria will do damage. And the enemy may look for ways to retaliate. Troubling news, in that regard comes from Justin Sink who writes in The Hill:
Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On Tuesday, August 19, an American citizen, James Foley, was savagely killed. The group of jihadists known as ISIL had previously killed and brutalized tens of thousands of non-Americans. But they killed Foley because he was an American. They titled the grotesque video of this particular act of barbarism “A message to America.”
10:47 AM, Jul 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Attorney General Eric Holder has a "lot of sleepless nights," reported ABC News this morning. Chief among his concerns? The threat of "homegrown violent extremists."
Asked the ABC News reporter, "Is that threat," like the Boston Marathon bombing last year, "any less serious?"
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.
Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards BaghdadJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By MAX BOOT
Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has long been hard for the central government to control because of its combustible mix of Arabs and Kurds. The first time I visited Mosul was in August 2003 when a tenuous calm was maintained by the 101st Airborne Division. Its commander, a then-obscure two-star general named David Petraeus, had on his own initiative opened the Syrian border to trade, struck deals with Syria and Turkey to provide badly needed electricity, restored telephone service, and held elections to elect local leaders.
7:00 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Several men who served with Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan say Bergdahl deserted in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl's release this weekend as part of an exchange with the U.S. for five top Taliban operatives who were being held in Guantanamo Bay has prompted those servicemen to speak out. Jake Tapper at CNN reports: