Walorski Calls on President Obama to Examine Growing National Security Threats of former Guantanamo Detainees

Monday, February 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) a member of the House Armed Services Committee, last week joined 23 of her colleagues in writing to President Obama concerning the increasing number of transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility who are confirmed to be reengaging in terrorist activities.

The letter read in part, “On September 3, 2015 the Director of National Intelligence reported that 117 of 653 transferred detainees are confirmed to be reengaging in terrorists activities, with another 79 suspected. Disturbingly, this amounts to a full 30% of transferred detainees either confirmed of suspected of reengaging in terrorist activities.”

Last year, the Director of National Intelligence released his biannual report, of the recidivism rate of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, there has been an increase in the number of detainees suspected of re-engaging in the fight against the United States in the last six months.

The letter continued, “The Director’s report clearly shows that the detainee transfer profess is deeply flawed and poses a significant, unnecessary and unacceptable risk to the security of our Nation.”

The members asked the president to provide the terms of agreement for transferring detainees to countries where a high level of reengagement in terrorism exists.

The letter can be read in its entirety here and the full text is below.

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I respectfully inquire about the terms of the agreements made with countries to transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The terms of these agreements are vitally important to our Nation’s security. On September 3, 2015, the Director of National Intelligence reported that 117 of 653 transferred detainees are confirmed to be reengaging in terrorist activities, with another 79 suspected. Disturbingly, this amounts to a full 30% of transferred detainees either confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist activities. I’m also deeply troubled that the suspected terrorist activities of 79 these transferred detainees cannot be confirmed or denied. The Director’s report clearly shows that the detainee transfer process is deeply flawed and poses a significant, unnecessary and unacceptable risk to the security of our Nation.

If your position is to continue this process, every possible step to mitigate the danger must be taken. Clearly, previous terms of agreements made with transfer countries lack provisions to adequately mitigate this danger. The high percentage of reengagement exposes a seriously flawed detainee transfer program, which fails to properly identify the threat posed by transferred detainees and provide necessary safeguards – safeguards that should have been in place before any transfer took place.

Given the dire national security implications posed by detainee transfers, I respectfully request the terms of agreements made with the following transfer countries.

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Britain
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Hungary
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Libya
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Somalia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Sudan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Yemen

In particular, I’m interested in the provisions included in these agreements to mitigate the inherent danger posed by detainee transfers; specifically, any provisions aimed at preventing reengagement, ensuring accountability by the home country, preventing contact with known terrorists, and ensuring these countries offer no form of aid/assistance to terrorist organizations.

I appreciate your time and attention to this request and look forward to receiving this information.

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

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