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.