Mar 27 2009
The Taliban’s new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan was a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for six years.
This is just the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration’s efforts to close the prison. Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government.
Afghan officials said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields and Rasoul has emerged as a key militant figure in southern Afghanistan, where violence has been spiking in the last year.
One intelligence official told the Associated Press that Rasoul’s stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge. According to case documents assembled by the U.S. military for a 2005 review of Rasoul’s combatant status at Guantanamo, the Afghan was captured in 2001 in Konduz. Armed with a gun and sitting in the car of an alleged Taliban leader, Rasoul insisted to American authorities he was forced to carry the gun by the Taliban. Rasoul told the tribunal in 2005 that in fact he had surrendered with other Taliban members to the Northern Alliance in Konduz on Dec. 12, 2001. Rasoul told the tribunal that he and others were then handed over to the Americans for bounties.
He told the tribunal that he intended to return to a peaceful life in Afghanistan. “I want to go back home and join my family and work in my land and help my family,” he said, according to a U.S. military transcript of the hearing.
And our government idiots believed him?
HAT TIP: MiddleEastNews
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