President Barack Obama transferred 10 additional inmates Monday out of Guantanamo bay to Oman, in a blatant rebuke of President-elect Donald Trump’s intended policies.
Omani media confirmed the transfer, but neither the U.S. nor Omani authorities will confirm the identities of the detainees.
“At the request of Sultan Qaboos and the US government for a solution to the question of Guantánamo detainees, 10 of these detainees arrived today in the sultanate to reside here temporarily,” Oman’s government said in a statement.
Trump tweeted Jan. 3 that he did not approve of any more transfers from the prison, saying the U.S. would not be able to guarantee
There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
The transfer drops the prison population to 45, after Obama has hurriedly transferred prisoners in his last year in office.
In the last large batch of prisoners released by Obama, all 15 were deemed “High” risk in Department of Defense (DOD) reviews. Each detainee’s DOD review, according to The New York Times Guantanamo Docket, classified him as “High Risk” and noted “he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests, and its allies.” Several of the detainees were also classified as “HIGH intelligence value.”
Guantanamo detainees have a history of returning to terrorist activity upon release. In early July, former Guantanamo Bay inmate Abu Wa’el Dhiab went missing in South America after he likely bordered a flight with a fake passport. Dhiab was released to Uruguay by the Obama administration in 2014.
Uruguay insisted Dhiab travel freely without restriction, raising questions about the safety of releasing known terrorists to countries willing to take them.
The U.S. released Taliban commander Abdul Qayyum Zakir from Guantanamo Bay to the government of Afghanistan in 2007. Zakir was subsequently released from Afghan prison for no apparent reason and returned to the Afghan battlefield as a senior commander. Zakir is reportedly heading military operations in Helmand province, where hundreds of U.S. Marines died between 2001-2014.
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