A Republican senator and U.S. representative have teamed up in an attempt to block U.S. aid to any country that accepts prisoners released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, if those released detainees return to terrorist activities.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, have introduced legislation that would block aid to countries such as Qatar, Afghanistan, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and Yemen, which have accepted Guantanamo detainees, if any of their detainees are found to have returned to the battlefield, the Free Beacon reports.
DeSantis told the Free Beacon that the bills would create "a disincentive for (countries) to accept these people unless they’re really sure that these folks aren’t going to be a problem."
In a prepared statement,
Cotton said, "The detainees at Guantanamo Bay are hardened terrorists and their release puts U.S. lives and our national-security interests at risk. Congressman DeSantis and I are committed to ensuring Congress does everything in its power to stop recidivism."
A director of National Intelligence report found that 116 out of 647 former Guantanamo detainees "have been confirmed as having re-engaged in terrorism," The Hill reports,
including six out of 115 released by the Obama administration.
"President Obama continues to put our nation’s security at risk by releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay," DeSantis said. "A recent report has revealed that nearly 30 percent of released detainees return to jihad. This is the dangerous, but foreseeable, outcome of the administration’s policy.
"Congress must take action to protect the homeland and prevent recidivism by holding detainee-receiving nations accountable," the Sunshine State News reported.
Obama made closing Guantanamo down a key issue in his campaign for president, although he is blocked by law from releasing any of those prisoners into the U.S.
As of January, 122 prisoners remain at Guantanamo, Close Guantanamo reports.
One of the five detainees sent to Qatar in a trade deal for the release of Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, held captive by the Taliban, is suspected of returning to terrorist activities, CNN reported.
DeSantis, a former prosecutor at Guantanamo while in the military, said that Obama in 2008 "really wasn’t campaigning to just release them all, but since he can’t bring them to the United States, he wants to close Gitmo so bad that he’s willing to just release them all," the Free Beacon reports.
"These are people who nobody would have ever suggested would not go back to the fight," he said.
"It’s a deliberate decision (by Obama) to release people who are going to be harmful to our national security."
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