How does that saying go? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Said al-Shihri, who is the deputy leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is calling for jihadists to “attack them [U.S. interests] and eliminate as many enemies as you can” according to a post at IslamicAwakening. According to published reports, al-Shihri was at Gitmo from December 2001 until his release in November 2007 when he was sent to Saudi Arabia for retraining…er…uh….rehab…er…uh…repatriation…um….what exactly did they teach him? When he was arrested he had been carrying $1900 that he said was for the Red Crescent, but in reality he was using it fund travels for other Al Qaeda members. After his detention at Gitmo and supposed rehabilitation by the Saudis, he made his way to Yemen and became a deputy leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to BBC reporter Peter Taylor, this particular group of detainees supposedly rehabilitated by the Saudis was problem group. He named them “Batch 10″ and has written about their activities.
Of the 120 Saudi returnees, 111 of them have gone through the Care programme – the other nine returned to the Kingdom before the scheme was set up.
The government claims a 90% success rate and says that only 10 of the former Guantanamo detainees absconded, crossing the border into Yemen.
But Batch 10 certainly does not fit this picture.
When the Saudi 747 jet carrying them landed in Riyadh, its passengers were greeted by the authorities not as heroes but as “victims” who had been brainwashed and misled by a deviant ideology.
All went through the Care programme, but five later escaped to Yemen.
There two of them, al-Shihri and al-Awfi, helped set up AQAP and then took part in the organisation’s launch video.
The video was released on 22 January 2009, the day after Mr Obama announced that Guantanamo was to be closed down by 22 January 2010 – a deadline which will not be met.
So many questions…. If 120 men went through the program and only 10 returned to AQ activities, can it be rightly called a success? How many of the other 110 men were really rehabilitated? How many carry on AQ activities undetected or unreported? Why, when the Saudis were fairly certain that members of Batch 10 were not being rehabilitated, did they follow through with the release? Shouldn’t there be a safety valve whereby those suspected of resisting the rehabilitation can be returned to incarceration? Must they be set free to allow them to return to their terrorist activities?
I wish I had answers to at least one or two of those questions. I can’t help but wonder which one of the former Gitmo detainees will be the next underwear bomber. We’re much to busy worrying about trying not to offend the muslims to pay attention to what’s going on. Hopefully they won’t get a chance to fool us twice, but I’m not holding my breath.