Obama Admin Released Gitmo Detainee Who Threatened to Cut Americans’ Throats

bin Laden

The entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay detention center / AP


One of the suspected terrorists whom the Obama administration transferred from Guantanamo Bay earlier this month previously threatened to cut the throats of Americans upon his release.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Long before his transfer, the intelligence analysts at Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) assessed [Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef] as a “high risk” and “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.” (The JTF-GTMO threat assessments of 760 Guantanamo detainees, many written in 2008, were posted online in 2011 by WikiLeaks.) It is easy to understand the analysts’ worry about Mr. Atef. He was, they said, “a fighter in Usama bin Laden’s former 55th Arab Brigade and is an admitted member of the Taliban.” He trained at al Farouq, the infamous al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, “participated in hostilities against US and Coalition forces, and continues to demonstrate his support of UBL and extremism.” Most ominously, the report warns that he “has threatened to kill US citizens on multiple occasions including a specific threat to cut their throats upon release.”

Atef and another Guantanamo detainee, Khalid Mohammed Salih al Dhuby, were transferred to Ghana on January 6. An official at Ghana’s embassy in Washington, D.C., told the Journal that the U.S. government assured Ghana that Atef was “never involved in terrorism.” Ghana’s government said that both individuals “were detained in Guantanamo but have been cleared of any involvement in terrorist activities, and are being released.”

President Obama has doubled down on his promise to close the military prison despite opposition from Republican lawmakers and increasing concerns of terrorism nationwide. Just last week, the administration transferred 10 detainees from Guantanamo, whittling the prison population down to 93.

Earlier this month, a source told Fox News that the group of detainees the administration planned to begin releasing this month includes “al Qaeda followers” and  “multiple bad guys.”

At least one former Guantanamo Bay prisoner has rejoined terrorism. Ibrahim al-Qosi, a former cook for Osama bin Laden who was transferred to his native country of Sudan in 2012, recently appeared in a propaganda video released by the al Qaeda branch in Yemen.

Thirty-four of the prisoners who remain have been cleared for release, and Obama intends to move others who have been deemed too dangerous to release to stateside prisons. The Pentagon has assessed detention facilities in Colorado, Kansas, and South Carolina as possible options.

Congress has passed legislation barring the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. in addition to other restrictions, which Obama has ultimately signed.

Still, the president has threatened to use executive action to close the prison.

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.

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