Ayotte: Administration’s Pattern With Prisoner Swaps “Worrying”

• January 26, 2015 9:05 pm


Critics are increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration’s willingness to trade known terrorists for captives.

"That's the real worry that some many of us have had. The issue really is that what's the price being put on American lives?" Sen. Kelly Ayotte said.

The complaints come today after reports that one of the al Qaeda members released from Gitmo earlier this year was dangled as part of a prisoner swap. The report signals a disturbing and potentially dangerous new trend from the Obama administration.

"We now are going to have a pattern where people are being asked to be traded – you have ISIS also saying for certain individuals we want released in exchange for some of the prisoners we have. It gets us down this slippery slope," Ayotte said.

Al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh al-Marri was rumored to be floated as a trading chip to secure the release of Matthew and Grace Huang, in custody for the death of their adopted daughter. Al-Marri was one of the infamous "Taliban Five" released by the Obama administration on June 1, 2014.

The White House has had a rough start to the year with the rise of global terrorism. Last week the government of Yemen was overthrown, and over the weekend the Islamic State beheaded another person.

"It's unbelievable. In September he cited Yemen as success when he was talking about strategy against ISIS and now, of course, Yemen is imploding. The government has fallen apart. We had recently a major suicide bombing with over 50 people killed. Just in the last thee months of last year there were over 14 al Qaeda attacks. The place is a mess," Ayotte said. "Let’s not forget the administration released four detainees to Amman, they are Yemenis, which neighbor Yemen of course. Release them with no conditions that they couldn't return to Yemen."