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When Obama came into office, there were almost 250 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Now there are only 91.
What have some of the released prisoners been up to lately?
Americans have been killed by prisoners released from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Defense Department official told lawmakers Wednesday, triggering sharp criticism from Republicans opposed to shuttering the facility in the wake of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in Brussels and Paris. Paul Lewis, the Pentagon’s special envoy for Guantanamo detention closure, declined to provide the GOP-led House Foreign Affairs Committee with details. He would not say whether the incidents occurred before or after President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
“What I can tell you is unfortunately there have been Americans that have died because of (Guantanamo) detainees,” Lewis said during an exchange with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. “When anybody dies, it is tragedy and we don’t want anybody to die because we transfer detainees,” Lewis said.
The Guantanamo Bay prison is a popular propaganda tool for ISIS to recruit new members, which is part of the reason why Obama wants to shut it down. However, it’s more important than ever to have a secure place to detain terrorists and suspected terrorists.
The Director of National Intelligence reported this month that 5 percent of Guantanamo prisoners released since January 2009, when the U.S. began using the multi-agency screening process, have re-engaged in terrorism and 8 percent are suspected of it.
The stakes are too high to shrug off the responsibility of making sure these terrorists do not escape or get wrongfully released back into their terror networks.