by Oleg Burunov
August 23, 2021
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention centre open indefinitely, but earlier this year the Biden administration pledged to shut the Cuba-based prison down.
A total of 229 “rehabbed” radical extremists previously released from the Cuba-based Guantanamo Bay detention centre have returned to terrorism, according to a US intelligence report obtained by the New York Post.
The report issued by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) claimed that at least 66% of those extremists had not been recaptured and are still at large.
“Based on trends identified during the past 17 years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO [Guantanamo Bay prison] will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred”, the document said.
The report added that although “enforcement of transfer conditions probably has deterred many former detainees from reengagement, some detainees determined to reengage have and will do so regardless of any transfer conditions”.
The study also asserted that “former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and members of terrorist organisations”.
Biden Wants to Close Gitmo Down
The claims come amid the Biden administration’s efforts to shut Gitmo down for good, despite the detention centre’s remaining 39 prisoners having long been classified by US military intelligence as too dangerous to release.
In the latest development, a Taliban* commander claimed last week that he spent “eight years” in the Guantanamo Bay prison. The allegations were made during a victory speech purportedly from inside the Presidential Palace in Kabul on 15 August, when the Taliban entered the Afghan capital without a fight and seized power in the country.
In July, President Joe Biden issued an order to free the prison’s first inmate, accused terrorist Abdul Latif Nasser, while ten others have been cleared for release, including some of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s safehouse operator, according to Guantanamo Bay detention centre parole board documents.
Under the Trump administration, an executive order directing Gitmo to remain open indefinitely was signed in January 2018. Only one individual was transferred from the detention camp during Donald Trump’s time in office.
The Guantanamo detention facility, which was opened in 2002 under the direction of former US President George W. Bush, housed nearly 800 detainees at the height of its usage. By the end of the Obama administration, 41 detainees remained after hundreds had been transferred to various countries.