U.S. Releasing “Worst of the Worst” of Guantanamo Detainees
Becoming “Better Jihadis” with “More Street Credit,” Detainees Will Return to al Qaeda for “Leadership Roles,” Warns O’Neill.
Only a few years ago, he was deemed “too dangerous” to be released from Guantanamo Bay — the man who served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard: Abdul Rahman Shalabi.
Now it seems he’s no longer a major threat. This week, a U.S. review panel allowed his release from prison and return to Saudi Arabia. So why the change of heart?
Immediately following Shalabi’s release, the man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden — former Navy SEAL Robert J. O’Neill — shares his reaction with FOX News anchor Steve Doocy.
Highlights from his interview:
Doocy: “So, what could have changed between 2009 and today? What do you make of this?”
O’Neill: “It doesn’t really surprise me, even though it should. Right now this administration is trying to get rid of Guantanamo Bay in its entirety. They’re trying to say a lot of these people are fixed and they’re ready to go back and be milk and honey farmers, even though that’s probably not the case, because they’re going back to places where a lot of the ideology is jihad against the West. It’s not a good thing these guys are going back. We’re down to the worst of the worst of the Guantanamo detainees.”
Doocy: “The United States is going to monitor these guys to make sure they don’t do anything bad.”
O’Neill: “They say they’re going to monitor a lot of them. They’re also sending a lot them back to Oman. A lot of these detainees and most of them at this point were people who worked as bodyguards for Osama bin Laden, spiritual advisers to a lot of the al Qaeda guys back in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Some of them were teaching the madrasas. A lot of them fought at Tora Bora, the large initial assault to find Osama bin Laden. We’re down to some people we found on the battlefield. This is a problem for the men and women that died trying to get these people to Guantanamo Bay and for the innocent victims of 9/11.”
Doocy: “What are we doing at Gitmo to make us think, OK, he’s new and improved?”
O’Neill: “The thing about Guantanamo Bay…they get a lot of time in what’s called the yard. They’re outside learning to be better jihadis. It’s a school for them, almost. They’re talking about the tactics we used to give them so they can get better. Right now, they’re going to come back with a lot of street credit. They’re going to be put in leadership roles. These guys are going to get back to Yemen, which is a stronghold for al Qaeda. To get some high-level leadership like this is going to help al Qaeda.”