Gitmo recidivism rate over 20 percent 

Following news that former Guantanamo detainee Abdul Hafiz has returned to the Taliban after being released in Afghanistan last December with four others, two members of Congress are demanding that President Obama make public an unclassified version of a Defense Intelligence Agency report showing that the detainee recidivism rate has gone “from 13 percent to more than 20 percent over the last year alone.”

In other words, one in five released Gitmo detainees have gone back to the battlefield and proved that they should have been locked up in the first place.

“We must learn from past mistakes and prevent additional detainees from rejoining the fight against our armed forces and aid workers in Afghanistan,” House Intelligence Committee members Frank Wolf, R-VA and Sue Myrick, R-NC, said in a March 30 letter to President Obama.

In February, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that 20 percent of released Gitmo detainees returned to the battlefield last year, up from 13 percent. Hafiz was one of 57 released by the Obama administration; the Bush administration let more than 530 detainees go. According to the Long War Journal, which broke the story, former Gitmo inmates are now targeting Afghan charities.

Hafiz, who spent more than six years at Gitmo, was a suspect in the 2003 kidnapping and murder of International Red Cross worker Ricardo Munguia, the first humanitarian aid worker killed following the invasion of Afghanistan by coalition forces. He was captured by special forces in April 2003 as he used a satellite phone to call an al-Qaeda member involved in Munguia’s death. At his combatant status review tribunal hearings at Gitmo, Hafiz reportedly claimed that he did not know how to use the phone, which was not his – but had been handed to him by the “real” Abdul Hafiz before they entered a security checkpoint.

The final declassified memo prior to his release identified Hafiz as “the Taliban head of all Madrassas” and the one “responsible for sending young men to fight for the Taliban.”

Newsweek reports that senior intelligence officials believe Hafiz’s new assignment will likely include more kidnappings and ransoms of Westerners when he’s not busy training new recruits for the jihad.

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