Another Former Guantanamo Detainee Beats System

In an article by AP writer Andrew Selsky, a frequent commentator on Guantanamo, he documents the return to the fight of yet another Guantanamo detainee. Calling himself Muhammad Atik al Harbi, ISN #333, while at Gitmo, the returned terrorist has been identified by his real name, Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi.

Selsky notes that this consistent pattern of recidivism that characterizes freed Gitmo detainees “underscores the dilemma Barack Obama’s administration finds itself in: Keeping men locked up without trials invites global criticism but releasing them without a fair and diligent process to distinguish enemies from noncombatants exposes the U.S. and its allies to danger. It also shows how hard it is to separate truth from lies.”

Al-Oufi was successful in selling his cover story to military legal boards. He claimed to have been in Afghanistan only to “assist refugees” and had no connection to al Qaeda or the Taliban, and that he was sold “for a bounty” to US authorities by Afghanis who held a grudge against him.

Despite such protestations, it is apparent that many detainees are returning to fight against the West. We continue to treat these people as if they are ordinary criminals at our peril.

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