Officials: New Taliban chief was once at Gitmo

Discussion in 'Politics' started by rubibond007, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. this is outrageous.

    Operation officer was released to the Afghan government in 2007

    updated 9:20 p.m. ET, Tues., March. 10, 2009
    WASHINGTON - The Taliban's new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan had been a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration's efforts to close the prison.

    U.S. authorities handed over the detainee to the Afghan government, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials.

    Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007. Rasoul is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a nom de guerre that Pentagon and intelligence officials say is used by a Taliban leader who is in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.

    The officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to release the information, said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields.

    Pentagon and intelligence officials said Rasoul has emerged as a key militant figure in southern Afghanistan, where violence has been spiking in the last year. Thousands of U.S. troops are preparing to deploy there to fight resurgent Taliban forces.

    Mission to counter U.S. surge
    One intelligence official told the Associated Press that Rasoul's stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge.

    Although the militant detainees who have resurfaced were released under the Bush administration, the revelation underscores the Obama administration's dilemma in moving to close the detention camp at Guantanamo and figuring out what to do with the nearly 250 prisoners who remain there.

    In one of his first acts in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the jail next year. The order also convened a task force that will determine how to handle remaining detainees, who could be transferred to other U.S. detention facilities for trial, transferred to foreign nations for legal proceedings or freed.

    More than 800 prisoners have been imprisoned at Guantanamo; only a handful have been charged. About 520 Guantanamo detainees have been released from custody or transferred to prisons elsewhere in the world.

    A Pentagon tally of the detainees released show that 122 were transferred from Guantanamo in 2007, more than any other year.

    Growing number rejoining fight
    The Pentagon's preferred option is to hand them over to their home governments for imprisonment. But the Defense Intelligence Agency's growing list of former prisoners that have rejoined the fight shows that, in some cases, that system does not work.

    According to the Pentagon, at least 18 former Guantanamo detainees have "returned to the fight" and 43 others are suspected of resuming terrorist activities. The Pentagon has declined to provide a complete list of the former prisoners they suspect are now on the battlefield.

    According to case documents assembled by the U.S. military for a 2005 review of Rasoul's combatant status at Guantanamo, the Afghan was captured in 2001 in Konduz.

    Rasoul was captured while armed with a gun and sitting in the car of an alleged Taliban leader. He insisted to American authorities he was forced to carry the gun by the Taliban. Rasoul told the tribunal in 2005 that in fact he had surrendered with other Taliban members to the Northern Alliance in Konduz on Dec. 12, 2001.

    The Northern Alliance was involved in a protracted civil war with the Taliban and was allied with U.S. forces in the October 2001 invasion.
  2. Why close Gitmo? Seems like a safe place to keep POW's. If they escape it is Castro's problem.

    It is a false soultion just to move them somewhere else. All Obama should is rename Gitmo. Call it Camp America. Camp America where we understand your hurt feelings and will soon apoligize and set you free in some American city with a welfare program.
  3. sadly you're right.

  4. It's feeling more and more like the Jimmy Carter era to me...

    Jails are only as good as the jailers BTW. Mob bosses have been prosecuted and convicted and sentenced in the USA but nobody ever came to get them and put them in the jail !!! Other guys, I knew one once, commit crimes, are convicted, go into the jail and a few weeks go by and you see them keeping a low profile out on the street !! now we will have to put up with this funny business on a Federal / Homeland Security level !!
  5. Just wait until we close down Gitmo, bring them over to the mainland US, and then start releasing these animals in our major cities.

    All hell is going to break loose once they start suicide bombing in NYC, LA, Washinton D.C., etc.

    Are we ready for the Israel experience? I think not.