CAIRO, Egypt – A Saudi man released from Guantanamo after spending nearly six years inside the U.S. prison camp is now the No. 2 of Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, according to a purported Internet statement from the terror network.
The announcement, made this week on a Web site commonly used by militants, came as President Barack Obama ordered the detention facility closed within a year. Many of the remaining detainees are from Yemen, which has long posed a vexing terrorism problem for the U.S.
The terror group’s Yemen branch — known as “al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” — said the man, identified as Said Ali al-Shihri, returned to his home in Saudi Arabia after his release from Guantanamo about a year ago and from there went to Yemen, which is Osama bin Laden’s ancestral home…. — AP Wire
Yemen’s government struggles to maintain order. Many areas of this California-size country are beyond government control and Islamic extremism is strong. Nearly 100 Yemeni detainees remain at Guantanamo, making up the biggest group of prisoners.
Al-Shihri’s case highlights the complexity of Obama’s decision to shut down the detention center within a year despite the absence of rehabilitation programs for ex-prisoners in some countries, including Yemen. The Pentagon also has said more former ex-detainees appear to be returning to the fight against the U.S. after their release.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, who heads the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, said the reports about al-Shihri should not slow the Obama administration’s determination to quickly close the prison.
Obama has been irresponsible in hastily signing orders to release detainees WITHOUT a plan for what to do with them other than sending them back to the front lines and increase the risk to Americans (Civilian and Military) abroad. If not our own soil. What is the plan for any new combatant jihadists captured on the battlefield ?? These now un answered questions should have been made clear to the American people at the same time he signed to papers to close Gitmo. Will the Washington Press core “press” him in this? What do you think??