U.S. releases 6 al-Qaeda detainees to Uruguay

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U.S. releases 6 al-Qaeda detainees to Uruguay

While the Sen­ate releases a CIA report with­out talk­ing to the CIA direc­tors, Jonathan Gru­ber refuses to say how much gov­ern­ment money he received, and John Kerry raises $5billion for Gaza, the U.S. released six Gitmo detainees to Uruguay.

In a coun­try where polls show a major­ity of peo­ple oppose the trans­fer of the pris­on­ers, and as other Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries declined, lame-​duck pres­i­dent José Mujica,

a for­mer guer­rilla who was impris­oned for 14 years — said that while he had long crit­i­cized the U.S. for its “inter­ven­tions and abuses,” he couldn’t decline a request by Mr. Obama to accept the men.

Mujica is also allow­ing them to travel in and out of Uruguay.

It’s not clear what pass­ports from what coun­tries would the six use.

Who are the released men?

Four were mem­bers of the “Syr­ian Group;” all are con­nected to Abu Zubay­dah; only one was deemed as “medium risk,” the other five were “high risk.”

Thomas Josce­lyn writes that 6 Guan­tanamo detainees trans­ferred to Uruguay were part of al Qaeda’s net­work, files allege

Inter­est­ingly, the intel­li­gence con­tained in JTF-GTMO’s files linked all six trans­ferred detainees to Abu Zubay­dah, who has been the sub­ject of much con­tro­versy. Zubay­dah was cap­tured in 2002 and sub­jected to harsh inter­ro­ga­tion tech­niques. Some have claimed that Zubay­dah was not really a senior al Qaeda leader at the time of his cap­ture, but this argu­ment is con­tra­dicted by dozens of pieces of intel­li­gence con­tained in the JTF-​GTMO files, among other evidence.

The dossiers com­piled by the US gov­ern­ment for each of the six trans­ferred detainees include mul­ti­ple pieces of evi­dence point­ing to their ties to both Abu Zubay­dah and al Qaeda. Four of the for­mer detainees were mem­bers of the so-​called “Syr­ian Group,” which was based at a guest­house funded by Zubay­dah. A fifth detainee was allegedly part of Zubaydah’s “Mar­tyrs Brigade,” which sought to attack US forces in 2002. And the sixth was iden­ti­fied by Zubay­dah as a trainee at the Khal­dan camp, which was run by Zubay­dah and his com­rade in arms, Ibn Sheikh al Libi.

Josce­lyn talked about the six in John Batchelor’s show, which you can lis­ten here.

In addi­tion to being able to fly in and out of the coun­try, the six ter­ror­ists can also bring their fam­i­lies to Uruguay.

Uruguay’s defense min­is­ter, Eleu­terio Fer­nán­dez Huido­bro, is Polyanna of the week, expect­ing the six to “live in peace, sit in the sta­dium grand­stand and become fans of some soc­cer team.”

Con­sid­er­ing their back­ground, that’s high hopes indeed.

Else­where in Latin Amer­ica, Colombia’s FARC is using al-​Qaeda for Euro­pean drug trade.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news, and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

[Post cor­rected]

While the Senate releases a CIA report without talking to the CIA directors, Jonathan Gruber refuses to say how much government money he received, and John Kerry raises $5billion for Gaza, the U.S. released six Gitmo detainees to Uruguay.

In a country where polls show a majority of people oppose the transfer of the prisoners, and as other Latin American countries declined, lame-duck president José Mujica,

a former guerrilla who was imprisoned for 14 years—said that while he had long criticized the U.S. for its “interventions and abuses,” he couldn’t decline a request by Mr. Obama to accept the men.

Mujica is also allowing them to travel in and out of Uruguay.

It’s not clear what passports from what countries would the six use.

Who are the released men?

Four were members of the “Syrian Group;” all are connected to Abu Zubaydah; only one was deemed as “medium risk,” the other five were “high risk.”

Thomas Joscelyn writes that 6 Guantanamo detainees transferred to Uruguay were part of al Qaeda’s network, files allege

Interestingly, the intelligence contained in JTF-GTMO’s files linked all six transferred detainees to Abu Zubaydah, who has been the subject of much controversy. Zubaydah was captured in 2002 and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques. Some have claimed that Zubaydah was not really a senior al Qaeda leader at the time of his capture, but this argument is contradicted by dozens of pieces of intelligence contained in the JTF-GTMO files, among other evidence.

The dossiers compiled by the US government for each of the six transferred detainees include multiple pieces of evidence pointing to their ties to both Abu Zubaydah and al Qaeda. Four of the former detainees were members of the so-called “Syrian Group,” which was based at a guesthouse funded by Zubaydah. A fifth detainee was allegedly part of Zubaydah’s “Martyrs Brigade,” which sought to attack US forces in 2002. And the sixth was identified by Zubaydah as a trainee at the Khaldan camp, which was run by Zubaydah and his comrade in arms, Ibn Sheikh al Libi.

Joscelyn talked about the six in John Batchelor’s show, which you can listen here.

In addition to being able to fly in and out of the country, the six terrorists can also bring their families to Uruguay.

Uruguay’s defense minister, Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro, is Polyanna of the week, expecting the six to “live in peace, sit in the stadium grandstand and become fans of some soccer team.”

Considering their background, that’s high hopes indeed.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Colombia’s FARC is using al-Qaeda for European drug trade.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

[Post corrected]