Here's What We Know About the 5 Gitmo Detainees Just Released
The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that five Yemeni terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay had been transferred out of the facility to Estonia and Oman, despite renewed concerns from lawmakers about the risks of releasing detainees.
The newly transferred prisoners had been held for more than a dozen years. The men had been cleared for release since at least 2009, but the U.S. has balked at repatriating Guantanamo prisoners back to Yemen, where the government is battling an Al Qaeda insurgency.
In the interview above, Elisabeth Hasselbeck sat down with former Army Reservist Maj. Montgomery Granger, who served at Guantanamo as the ranking medical officer. He has also written the book, "Saving Grace at Guanatanamo Bay."
He said if Americans disagree with President Obama's moves to empty the prison and eventually close it down, they should speak up.
"Every American needs to ask themselves this question, do you feel safer with detainees in or out of Gitmo? And if the answer is in, you need to cry it from the tallest mountaintop, you need to call your representatives and your senators to pass a bill that’s in Congress right now that will stop the release of detainees."
Here are the five Yemeni terror suspects who are being transferred and some of what we know about them:
Akhmed Abdul Qadir: suspected of being a bodyguard of Usama bin Laden.
Captured in an al Qaeda safehouse.
Was supposed to go to Afghanistan to make bombs.
Served under al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah.
Muhammad Al Yafi: found in the mountains of Tora Bora, where bin Laden is suspected to have hidden out at the time of 9/11.
Was part of bin Laden's 055 Brigade.
Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Ali Muhammad: captured in an al Qaeda safehouse. Used standard al Qaeda cover stories after being captured.
Big gaps in his story about where he had been traveling.
Mohammed Ahmed Salam: suspected al Qaeda bomb maker.
Was in possession of a specific Casio watch used to train students on how to make bombs in Afghanistan.
Fadil Husayn Salih Hintif: captured near Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Claimed to be a Red Crescent volunteer, but has no medical background.
Several known ties to al Qaeda.
Jennifer Griffin reported from the Pentagon on "America's Newsroom," giving us the Department of Defense's explanation on the matter.
In a statement, DOD said each of the five was "unanimously approved for transfer nearly five years ago by six departments and agencies."
The Pentagon also disputes the numbers cited by critics about transferred Gitmo detainees rejoining the fight, saying "more than 90 percent of detainees transferred during the Obama administration live quietly around the world."
GOP lawmakers, however, often cite a 30% recidivism rate and point to the fact that a current al Qaeda leader in Yemen was once held at Guantanamo.
Watch her report below.