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More than 200 released Guantanamo prisoners have returned to terrorism


More than 200 former Guantanamo Bay inmates who were released have returned to terrorism following their release – with 151 still at large, according to newly declassified documents.

The declassified Office of National Intelligence report, which is dated December 18, 2020, highlights that 229 former Guantanamo prisoners have reengaged in acts of terrorism and killing Americans since their release.

Data included in the report shows that 125 former prisoners are confirmed to have reengaged in acts of terrorism since their release, while an additional 104 are currently suspected of reengaging.

However, with 151 still at large, it means 66 per cent of those reengaged former inmates have not been recaptured.

More than 200 former Guantanamo Bay inmates who were released have returned to terrorism following their release – with 151 still at large, according to newly declassified documents. (Stock image of a prisoner being escorted at Guantanamo Bay in 2008)

Former President Trump signed an executive order while still in office to keep Guantanamo Bay open.

After assuming office though, President Biden has since reversed Trump’s order, with the aim of permanently closing the Cuba-based facility. 

An assessment within the report said: ‘Based on trends identified during the past 17 years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred. 

‘Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations could pose an increased risk of reengagement. 

A high-ranking member of the Taliban who was released from Guantanamo Bay is Khairullah Khairkhwa (pictured)

A high-ranking member of the Taliban who was released from Guantanamo Bay is Khairullah Khairkhwa (pictured)

After his release from the prison in 2014, during President Obama's tenure, Khairkhwa became the mastermind behind the Taliban's takeover of Kabul

After his release from the prison in 2014, during President Obama’s tenure, Khairkhwa became the mastermind behind the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul

Khairullah Khairkhwa was one of five Taliban commanders released from the detention camp off the coast of Cuba by Obama in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl

Khairullah Khairkhwa was one of five Taliban commanders released from the detention camp off the coast of Cuba by Obama in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl

‘While 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, albeit at a lower rate than if they were transferred without conditions.’

Not all of the former inmates believed to have reengaged in terrorism are still at large though, 41 are believed to have died, while another 37 are now in foreign custody. 

Among the reengaged former Guantanamo inmates is Abdullah Gulam Rasoul, who became the Taliban’s operations commander in southern Afghanistan after his release in 2007.

The blame for a rise in the number of roadside attacks against American troops in Afghanistan has been placed on him.

Fox News also reports that former detainee, Gholam Ruhani, is another figure who has returned to terrorism since his release. 

After assuming office though, President Biden has since reversed Trump's order, with the aim of permanently closing the Cuba-based facility

After assuming office though, President Biden has since reversed Trump’s order, with the aim of permanently closing the Cuba-based facility

Statistics in a newly declassified Office of National Intelligence report show that as many as 229 former Guantanamo Bay inmates have reengaged in terrorism since their release - with 151 still at large

Statistics in a newly declassified Office of National Intelligence report show that as many as 229 former Guantanamo Bay inmates have reengaged in terrorism since their release – with 151 still at large

The bearded fanatic was among a group of gun-toting fighters who staged a celebratory press conference Sunday just hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled his country amid chaotic scenes.

Experts identified him as a former Gitmo detainee who was accused by US officials of being a longtime security agent for the Taliban’s feared Ministry of Intelligence with close family ties to its senior figures.

Ruhani revealed to Al Jazeera on Sunday that he was incarcerated for seven years at the Cuban-based military lockup which was established nearly two decades ago to cage the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

State Department documents seen by DailyMail.com confirm that Ruhani – detainee number 3 – was one of the very first prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but record that he spent five years there, from 2002 to 2007.

The files also reveal that Ruhani secured his eventual freedom by telling an administrative review board that he was a ‘simple shopkeeper’ who ‘helped Americans’.

Ruhani (pictured) revealed to Al Jazeera on Sunday that he was incarcerated for seven years at the Cuban-based military lockup which was established nearly two decades ago to cage the world's most dangerous terrorists

Ruhani (pictured) revealed to Al Jazeera on Sunday that he was incarcerated for seven years at the Cuban-based military lockup which was established nearly two decades ago to cage the world’s most dangerous terrorists 

The militants declared an Islamic state of Afghanistan after the country's president joined thousands of Afghan nationals in a mass exodus. Pictured: The Taliban in the presidential palace, with Ruhani circled

The militants declared an Islamic state of Afghanistan after the country’s president joined thousands of Afghan nationals in a mass exodus. Pictured: The Taliban in the presidential palace, with Ruhani circled 

Despite being rated a medium security threat, a March 2007 document says that Ruhani continued to insist that he had never heard of Al-Qaeda before 9/11 and merely joined the Taliban as a ‘survival necessity’.

He claimed his ‘only wish’ was to return to Afghanistan and ‘assist his father, who is sick, in operating the family appliance store in Kabul.’

Another high-ranking Taliban figure who was previously released from Guantanamo is Mullah Zakir, who was released to Afghanistan back in 2007.

Since his return to the country, he has gone on to become one of the Taliban’s top military chiefs.

Another high-ranking member of the Taliban who was released from Guantanamo Bay is Khairullah Khairkhwa.

However, after his release from the prison in 2014, during President Obama’s tenure, Khairkhwa became the mastermind behind the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

He was one of five Taliban commanders released from the detention camp off the coast of Cuba by Obama in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

The former president guaranteed the US people that the so-called Taliban Five would be sent to Qatar and incapable of doing any damage in Afghanistan

However, earlier this year Khairkhwa ended up brokering the terms of the withdrawal of troops despite intelligence reports sent to Obama and Biden after his release, according to the New York Post.  

The freed Taliban Five were indeed sent to Qatar but simply used their exile to remotely form a regime.  

While speaking to President Biden’s Afghanistan envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, earlier this year, Khairkhwa said: ‘I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement.’



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