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Sen. Tom Cotton: Stop Gitmo Transfers; Remaining Are 'Worst of the Worst'

Image: Sen. Tom Cotton: Stop Gitmo Transfers; Remaining Are 'Worst of the Worst'

U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba in this June 27, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 03:39 PM

Sen. Tom Cotton urged the Obama administration to refrain from transferring any more detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

"The inmates remaining at Guantanamo are the worst of the worst and need to remain where they are so they cannot return to the battlefield and attack us once again," the Arkansas Republican said in a statement, according to The Hill. "President Obama should listen to the will of the people and halt any further Guantanamo transfers."

Cotton, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said that continuing transfers showed that President Barack Obama is trying to fulfill a campaign promise to shut down the detainment site.

"President Obama is spending his last days in office making America less safe by rushing to fulfill one final campaign promise and release hardened terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Yesterday's transfer, and any others between now and January 20, 2017, illustrate that President Obama is more concerned with his own legacy than national security."

On Sunday, the Pentagon announced the transfer of Shawqi Awad Balzuhair to an island country off the northwest coast of Africa, Cabo Verde. After his exit, 59 detainees remain.

In 2008, the detainee task force declared that Balzuhair was an al-Qaida operative "who planned to participate in terrorist operations targeting U.S. forces in Karachi, Pakistan, and possibly inside the United States." He was called a "HIGH" risk and "likely to pose a threat."

The Pentagon said representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence decided keeping Balzuhair detained was no longer necessary.

"The United States is grateful to the government of Cabo Verde for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the Pentagon said in a statement to Cabo Verde, according to The Hill.

Pakistani forces captured Balzuhair on Sept. 11, 2002, who then turned him over to the U.S. military, The New York Times reported.

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Sen. Tom Cotton urged the Obama administration to refrain from transferring any more detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
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2016-39-05
Monday, 05 Dec 2016 03:39 PM
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