The Obama administration has that an Al-Qaeda terrorist, Muhammed Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani, has been released from imprisonment at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. A Saudi national, Al-Shamri has been repatriated to Saudi Arabia. He spent 14 years in confinement at the U.S. facility. He release came as international bodies and some governments have pushed President Barack Obama to repatriate at least 17 inmates. As of January 11, there remain 93 prisoners at Guantánamo. The last Kuwaiti national, 40-year-old Fayez Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari, was released last week. Another six terrorists, from Yemen, were released on January 13, according to the Department of Defense.
According to secret documents leaked to the internet, the Defense Department had deemed Al-Shamri a “high risk” to the United States. “If released without rehabilitation, close supervision, and means to successfully reintegrate into his society as a law-abiding citizen, it is assessed detainee would immediately seek out prior associates and reengage in hostilities and extremist support activities at home and abroad,” said part of his classified file.
The file also said, "Since transfer to JTF-GTMO, detainee has threatened the guard staff, has preached extremist ideology to other detainees, an has indicated his intent to kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan if released. Additionally, detainee has been non-cooperative during custodial interviews since 10 May 2007, provided conflicting information, and indicated he has been decitful to debriefers." Al-Shamri, according to the classified document, participated in combat against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. He had actively recruited for Al-Qaeda and was believed to have served as one of the bodyguards of Al-Qaeda leader Usama bin-Laden. As a member of Bin-Laden's 55th Arab brigade, Al-Shamri received training in firearms, explosives, and anti-aircraft guns by Al-Qaeda.
Of the prisoners, 59 are classified as ineligible for release or transfer. As part of his 2008 election campaign promises, Obama vowed to close Guantánamo – having argued that it served as boon to propagandizing the cause of Muslim terrorists. When the White House aired plans to prosecute the terrorists, and possibly imprison them on U.S. soil, Congress balked and repeatedly blocked the plans.  Guantánamo Bay is technically in Cuban territory, but has been under perpetual U.S. control under the terms of a 1903 treaty with the Caribbean country.
On January 10, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough reiterated Obama’s wish to close the prison facility at Guantánamo. The first prison camp there was established in 2002 during George W. Bush’s presidency to house captives taken in the war on terror. Prisoner Al-Shamrani arrived on January 17th of that year at what was then known as Camp X-Ray. By April, he and other prisoners were moved to Camp Delta, which had been built for the purpose on the base. Approximately 800 people have been kept at Guantánamo, often for years without charges. Human rights groups have described what they call torture meted out to the terrorists.
The downsizing was disclosed on the last day that Marine Gen. John F. Kelly of SOUTHCOM is in command. Last week, Kelly said of the terrorists at a press conference, “If they go back to the fight, we'll probably kill them,” he said last week at a Pentagon press conference. “So that's a good thing.”
During the Bush administration, on at least six occasions released scores of accused terrorists – most went to Saudi Arabia. Of the 24 countries accepting the released prisoners, Oman has taken the most. Also on the list are Albania, Ghana, and Nigeria. Prisoners included Saudis, Yemenis, Uzbeks, Uighurs, Algerians, Afghanis, and Pakistanis.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) issued a statement condemning the transfers of Yemenis to the more prosperous Oman. In a statement, she said that a prisoner who was released in 2012 to Sudan is now a spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. “The administration's failure to tell the American people the truth about these terrorists suggests what we know to be the case: These transfers will make Americans less safe,” she said in a press release.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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