The Obama administration has all but abandoned plans to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release to live in the United States, administration officials said yesterday, a decision that reflects bipartisan congressional opposition to admitting such prisoners but complicates efforts to persuade European allies to accept them.
Four Uighur detainees, Chinese Muslims who were incarcerated at the U.S. military prison in Cuba for more than seven years, arrived early yesterday in Bermuda, where they will become foreign guest workers. An administration official said the United States is engaged in negotiations with other countries, including Palau, an island nation in the western Pacific, to find places for the remaining 13 Uighurs held at Guantanamo.
China considers the Uighurs “terrorist suspects” and wants them back, but the administration refuses to return them to China.
The 17 Uighurs, who acuse the US of being twice as bad as the Nazis,
were picked up in the training camps in Afghanistan where they were preparing for Jihad against China. They were cleared for release, in part, because their supporters claim the United States is not their direct enemy.
Thomas Joscelyn has more details on the background of the four Uighurs relocated to Bermuda:
All four of them are members or associates of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (otherwise known as the Turkistan Islamic Party). The ETIM/TIP is a U.S. and UN designated terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda and has attacked civilians in China, as well as reportedly plotted against other targets elsewhere, including the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan. According to the State Department, ETIM/TIP members have also fought alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And last year the organization threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China.
The four Uighurs attempted to deny any relationship with the ETIM/TIP, the Taliban, and al Qaeda during their CSRTs. But their denials are not credible. In the context of their denials they made important admissions.
For example, all four of the Uighurs admitted during their combatant status review tribunals (CSRTs) at Gitmo that they received training in the Taliban’s Afghanistan. And all four of them received this training at an ETIM/TIP terrorist training facility in Tora Bora, a key area once controlled by the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Three of the four Uighurs transferred to Bermuda also admitted that they had firsthand ties to senior terrorists such as Hassan Mahsum and Abdul Haq – the leaders of the ETIM/TIP. Haq was recently designated an al Qaeda terrorist by the Obama administration’s Treasury Department, which noted that he is also a member of al Qaeda’s elite Shura council. Mahsum was killed in a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in northern Pakistan in 2003.
Joscelyn’s post has a lot more details on their testimony.
One thing is clear, these men who were released admitted ties to senior al Qaeda terrorists.
John Hinderaker comments,
Bermuda may or may not be Heaven on earth, but it’s my nominee. If you haven’t been there, you should go. But, if I’m not mistaken, you can only buy a round-trip ticket. Bermuda doesn’t allow riffraff to hang around. You have to apply to get in if you want to stay for more than a week or two. Except, I guess, if you’re an Islamic terrorist who has become an embarrassment to Barack Obama. It is a very weird world in which we live.
If I believed in alternate universes, I’d say that somewhere in an alternate universe, a huge crowd in a movie theater must be having a big laugh at us.
A friend who lives in a tropical vacation spot reminds me that the Uighurs were these guys:
Not long after being granted access to TV, some of the Uighurs were watching a soccer game. When a woman with bare arms was shown on the screen, one of the group grabbed the television and threw it to the ground, according to the officials.
It’ll be interesting to see what they do when they see women in string bikinis, or going topless.
Please note there will be no podcast this morning since I have laryngitis.