Walorski Statement on Release of Osama Bin Laden’s Bodyguard from Gitmo

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Walorski Statement on Release of Osama Bin Laden’s Bodyguard from Gitmo

Walorski Bill Would Halt Detainee Transfers Through End of Year

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the release of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab al-Rahabi from Guantanamo Bay:

“The terrorist detainees being released from Guantanamo Bay – like Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard – are the worst of the worst. The administration’s plan to recklessly free at least two dozen terrorists this summer in an effort to close Gitmo puts American lives at risk. That is why I introduced a bill to immediately ban transfers for the rest of the year, or until new safeguards in the National Defense Authorization Act are signed into law.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Walorski and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (MT) last month introduced bicameral legislation to temporarily ban the transfer or release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay. The administration reportedly is set to release nearly two dozen Gitmo detainees to several different countries this summer amid efforts to close the prison before the end of the president’s term. The bill (H.R. 5351 / S. 2999) would prohibit these transfers until either the end of this year or enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017.

The House-passed NDAA includes Walorski’s provision to require written agreements between the U.S. government and the government of any foreign country that agrees to accept detainees. That bill also would require the next administration to provide Congress with a comprehensive detention plan outlining how the release of any Gitmo detainee fits into the broader strategy for handling individuals detained during wartime.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.

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