Report: 121 Released Gitmo Detainees Have Returned to Terrorism

Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba / AP


The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report on Tuesday finding that 121 of the 714 Guantanamo Bay detainees released from the military prison over the past 15 years have reengaged in terrorism.

An overwhelming majority of the men who recidivated were transferred under former President George W. Bush, who created the prison in 2002 following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

According to the DNI, 113 of the former detainees released under the Bush administration are "confirmed" to have reengaged in militant activity while just eight transferred under the Obama administration have returned to terrorism.

The DNI suspects that another 87 of the 714 released detainees have reengaged in terrorist activity.

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning: "122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!" Trump was apparently citing DNI numbers released in September, according to the Hill.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer acknowledged Tuesday afternoon that Trump had incorrectly blamed the Obama administration for the release of all 122 detainees who recidivated.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce urged then-President Obama in January to "immediately halt" the transfer of Gitmo detainees, citing an intelligence report that found recently released prisoners were returning to terrorism.

Royce wrote in a letter to Obama that his administration was knowingly transferring detainees to countries that lacked the ability to prevent terrorists from returning to the "battlefield."

Trump has pledged to reverse Obama's plans to shutter the military prison, vowing on the campaign trail to "load it up with some bad dudes."

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson   Email Natalie | Full Bio | RSS
Natalie Johnson is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she was a news reporter at the Daily Signal. Johnson’s work has been featured in outlets such as Newsweek, Fox News and Drudge Report. She graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a B.A. in political science and journalism. She can be reached at Her twitter handle is @nataliejohnsonn.

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