Oh my… the plot thickens as more and more of those released from Guantanamo for obvious lack of “evidence”… despite their probable guilt… have gone AWOL after passing thru Saudi Arabia after their release.
The ol’ “Grey Lady” herself gives us the news via Robert Worth’s article today, Saudis Issue List of 85 Terrorism Suspects.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Eleven Saudis who were released from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and then passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists are now believed to have fled the country and joined terrorist groups abroad, Saudi officials said Tuesday.
The 11 former detainees include two who were already identified last month as members of a Yemeni terrorist group. Their names were on a list of 85 wanted terrorism suspects made public Tuesday by the Saudi Interior Ministry.
The announcement further underscored the difficulties faced by the Obama administration as it prepares to close the Guantánamo detention center. All told, 14 Saudis now appear to have rejoined terrorist groups after their return from Guantánamo, including the 11 living abroad and 3 who were rearrested in Saudi Arabia after their return.
It might be useful to note here that Saudi Arabia has a “rehab” program for terrorists already in place, and “widely viewed as a successful model.”
This, BTW, comes on the heels of not only the Gitmo bunch who appeared in the latest AQ video after being installed in their new jobs with the AQ Yemeni cell, but (as I pointed out in my Jan 27th post) the Saudi’s had already arrested nine terror suspects last week. Several of these were…. well, you get the picture.
Yemen, who is awaiting the return of 94 of their own homeboys from Guantanamo, doesn’t have one of these efficient and “successful” rehab” programs yet.
But “let’s be clear” here…. these guys haven’t done anything wrong. At least yet…
It is not clear whether any of the 11 former detainees being sought by Saudi Arabia have taken part in terrorist attacks. …. snip…~~~
Saudi officials have issued lists of wanted militants before, but the list of 85 — all but two of them Saudi — was the largest so far. As in the past, the authorities appealed for the men to return and turn themselves in.
“They will, of course, be interviewed and investigated and prosecuted for any crimes they may have committed,” said Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the chief spokesman of the Interior Ministry. “But by turning themselves in before committing any crime, they will have a better chance to be returned to their families.”
Here we go… back to the “law enforcement” method of national security.
Are we shocked yet? Well, hang on your your Lazy-boy arm rests. More Iran six degrees of separation coming up…
It is not clear why the Saudi authorities chose to identify the 11 former Guantánamo detainees or how long they have known about them. Muhammad bin Nayef, the Saudi minister who oversees the counterterrorism program, traveled to Yemen after the video showing the two Saudi jihadists appeared. Mr. Nayef has strong relationships with American and British intelligence officials, and he may have decided that more transparency would be helpful, said Bernard Haykel, a professor at Princeton University and an expert on Saudi Arabia.
In addition to releasing the list of 85 terrorism suspects, Saudi officials made a striking accusation: one of the men on it, Abdullah al-Qarawi, is a Saudi who has been operating from Iran for three years.
Mr. Qarawi, 35, is believed to have been behind some of the terrorist attacks in recent years inside Saudi Arabia, said a Saudi security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to discuss the matter in public.
Known to followers as “the Star,” Mr. Qarawi is in charge of leading Al Qaeda’s operations in the Persian Gulf and Iran, and of bringing new members into Afghanistan, the official said. He is believed to have more than 100 Saudis working for him in Iran, where they move about freely, the official added.
Saudi Arabia and the United States have accused Iran in the past of harboring Qaeda members, and Iran has denied it. Saudi Arabia, which sees itself as the leader of the Muslim world, views Iran’s revolutionary Shiite regime with hostility, especially in light of its nuclear ambitions.
ummmmm yeah. Feeling better every day about that Gitmo EO, I am….
But one thing the Saudis are recognizing more and more… they have a Yemeni problem. Another on the list is Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda, which recently announced it’s merger with the Saudi branch.
Over the past year or so, the Yemeni group appears to have expanded and brought in a number of Saudis, experts say. Its leaders say they will use Yemen, which shares a border with Saudi Arabia, as a base to launch ambitious attacks throughout the region, including in Saudi Arabia and East Africa.
“I think Saudi Arabia is now taking very seriously the threat coming from Yemen,” said Gregory Johnsen, a terrorism analyst with experience in Yemen.
Think Pakistan is a difficult ally because of it’s tribal leaders and rugged terrain? Add another one to the list with Yemen. Tho they have been “cooperating” since 2001 (post 911 and under that much hated George W. Bush…) the similar mountainous terrain, combined with their tendency to “negotiate” with their militants, puts Yemen on a par with Pakistan.
Yeah… let’s release a few more, and bring the rest to the US. Good idea….
Are we having fun yet?