FULLERTON (CBSLA.com/AP) — House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce is asking President Obama to immediately halt all transfers from Guantanamo Bay amid intelligence reports indicating detainees recently released from the prison are attempting to return to terrorism.
In a letter (PDF) sent Tuesday, Royce (R-Brea) said roughly 33 percent of all transferred or released detainees from the infamous detention facility “have returned to the fight.”
According to the letter, Royce says a “troubling new report” from the U.S. intelligence community shows detainees were recently transferred to a country poorly equipped to stop them from returning to battle.
Royce isn’t naming the country. In recent months detainees have been sent to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.
He cited a Foreign Affairs Committee’s “ongoing review” that determined some recipient countries like Uruguay “lack a combination of the political will, legal framework, or institutional capability to monitor detainees.”
“Shockingly, [the Obama] administration knowingly transferred individuals to these counties after receiving such assessments, showing a systematic disregard for the work of intelligence professionals,” Royce said.
The Republican lawmaker pointed to six terrorist detainees who were transferred to Uruguay in Dec. 2014 despite laws preventing the Uruguay government from keeping tabs on former detainees “because of their refugee status”.
Royce also cited the more recent transfer of bomb-making expert Tariq al-Sawah to Bosnia, which, according to Royce, has the highest number of foreign fighters per capita in the world and a staggering 63 percent unemployment rate.
“Yet the Administration transferred al-Sawah – a man with a highly dangerous and marketable skill – to the country with no citizenship or ability to obtain legitimate employment,” said Royce. “Again, these were facts known prior to his transfer.”
Obama is expected to continue whittling down the population in his final days.
The White House’s National Security Council isn’t commenting on Royce’s letter.
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