Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yemeni Gitmo detainees to be detained a bit longer

Smart move.

The alleged Christmas day terrorism plot has complicated plans by Barack Obama, US president, to shut the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

Following reports that two former inmates who took refuge in Yemen were behind the botched plot, senators from his own party were among those calling for detainee transfers to be halted pending an investigation into the links between Guantánamo and the Arab nation.

I've posted before about Gitmo detainees committing crimes after their release. This is not the first time that an Arab country, our "ally", has failed to keep the criminals locked up. Kuwait acquitted a Gitmo detainee after receiving him in 2005, and KSA attempts to "rehabilitate" Saudi prisoners released by the US military. I remember over the years many people online (no doubt Arabs and Arab Americans) claimed that all the Gitmo detainees are innocent.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined Republicans in calling for a halt to planned transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen in the wake of revelations of ties between the Christmas day bombing attempt and terrorists in that country.

"Guantanamo detainees should not be released to Yemen at this time," Feinstein said in a statement. "It is too unstable."

Last week the Department of Justice announced that it had transferred six detainees to the government of Yemen. As the Washington Post notes, former Gitmo detainees in Yemen "have led and fueled the growing assertiveness of the al Qaeda branch that claimed responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing."

There are 80 Yemenis left at the Guantanamo facility, almost half the remaining prison population. The Obama administration has already acknowledged that it will miss its one-year deadline for shuttering the prison; the emergence of Yemen as a flashpoint will likely further complicate their efforts.'

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