Ibrahim al-Qosi, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and cook for Osama bin Laden, appears to have joined the al Qaeda branch in Yemen.
The Long War Journal first reported that al-Qosi, one of the first detainees at the military prison in Cuba, appears as one of the senior leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in a video released by the terror group this week.
Al-Qosi was transferred to his native country of Sudan in July 2012 after striking at deal with U.S. military prosecutors and pleading guilty to conspiracy and providing material support to a terrorist. His 14-year sentence was shortened, and he left the detention facility after a decade of imprisonment.
The al Qaeda operative reportedly joined AQAP last year and became one of its leaders. In the video released by the group called "Guardians of Sharia," al-Qosi encourages acts of "individual jihad" against the United States and other western nations. He and other leaders in the video also cheer attacks by small terror cells on the West and encourage jihadists to follow recognized terror ideologues, perhaps in reference to the Islamic State.
The video is the first evidence of al-Qosi participating in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo Bay.
Al-Qosi allegedly worked as a cook for al Qaeda and helped gather supplies for one of its militant camps. His lawyer insisted he was never a member of bin Laden’s inner circle, though he may have traveled as part of his entourage.
News of al-Qosi’s apparent membership to AQAP comes as President Obama undergoes scrutiny for his effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said that Obama would risk attacks on the homeland by closing the prison and transferring terrorist detainees to stateside prisons.
The president has threatened to use executive action to close Guantanamo.