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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Guantanamo Recidivism Report: Nearly 17 Percent of Released Detainees Return to Terrorism

The Director of National Intelligence, consistent with direction in the Fiscal Year 2012 Intelligence Authorization Act, reported to Congress that out of 729 detainees transferred from the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay 123 have been confirmed as re-engaging in terrorism.

The majority of those releases happened under the Bush administration, with 114 cases of re-engagement before Jan. 22, 2009, and nine cases afterward.

Of the 123 terrorists who returned to the fight, 34 are deceased, 23 are in foreign custody, and 66 are at large.

Ninety-nine of the 729 detainees are suspected of re-engaging in terrorism, with four of these dead and 18 in foreign custody. Eighty-two of these releases happened in the Bush administration.

“Based on trends identified during the past 15 years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations could pose problems,” states the report from ODNI. “While enforcement of transfer conditions may deter reengagement by many former detainees and delay reengagement by others, some detainees who are determined to reengage will do so regardless of any transfer conditions, albeit probably at a lower rate than if they were transferred without conditions.”

“Former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and previous associates who are members of terrorist organizations. The reasons for communication span from the mundane (reminiscing about shared experiences) to the nefarious (planning terrorist operations),” the report added. “We assess that some GTMO detainees to be transferred in the future probably would communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations. We do not consider mere communication with individuals or organizations—including other former GTMO detainees—an indicator of reengagement. Rather, the motives, intentions, and purposes of each communication are taken into account when assessing whether the individual has reengaged.”

Read the full report

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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