Herridge Reports: Will 'Gitmo Grads' Return to Terrorism?
Questions have been raised over whether the Guantanamo Bay detainees, released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, will rejoin terrorist networks. The five Taliban leaders are living in Qatar for a year before they’ll be completely free.
Some suicide bombers and one of the ringleaders in the Benghazi attack were also former prisoners at Gitmo. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that the number of detainees suspected or confirmed of returning to the battlefield is 29 percent. A former fefense official, who ran detainee affairs, believes the number is actually much higher since the United States government is only become aware of those who have returned to terrorism after they’re caught or killed.
Charles “Cully” Stimson, from the Heritage Foundation, said, “Garden variety criminals, who are career criminals here in the United States, who have a long rap sheet, you never know whether they go back to criminal activity until you catch them. And they say that they do a lot of other crimes before the one time they’re caught next. The same is true for terrorists.”
One of the most prominent former Gitmo grads is Sufian bin Qumu, who was returned to Libya under the Bush administration. He's accused of plotting and supporting the 2012 Benghazi attack. Herridge reported that Qumu’s ties to Usama bin Laden are clearly stated in his military review at Gitmo.
Earlier this week on The Kelly File, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb argued that the Taliban leaders have been out of action for over a decade and therefore aren’t likely to be a danger.
Herridge countered that argument, noting that in the past detainees quickly reconnect with their old network. Another Gitmo grad is Said al-Shihri, who became the number two in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This affiliate is considered the most dangerous and most determined to attack the U.S. homeland.
Analysts say when these prisoners are released, they’re either revered by fellow jihadis or viewed with deep suspicion as possible agents for U.S. intelligence agencies.
More on the Bergdahl prisoner swap from Fox News: