mullah abdul rauf

Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed in a drone strike last week as he was driving a car loaded with ammunition and with five additional militants as passengers. He was released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in 2007.

Rauf was a high-ranking Taliban commander who was captured in 2001 and sent to Gitmo. Rauf spent his seven years at Gitmo protesting his innocence, and claiming that his job was bread delivery and that he was not senior leadership of the Taliban. “If I go back right now and there is Karzai’s government,” he was quoted as saying, “All I want to do is go there and work on my land….If they don’t mind, I would love to go there and help them out with the new government and work for them.”

He got his wish in 2007, when he was transferred to the custody of the Afghanistan government, which released him in 2009. The Karzai government concluded that Rauf was not a leading figure in the Taliban. He shortly thereafter joined ISIS, attracted to the group’s Salafist theology, and he began providing recruitment services to the terror group. ISIS named Rauf deputy governor in “Khorasan,” a newly defined region controlled by ISIS.

It’s hard to keep track, but ISIS is gaining territory not only in Syria and Iraq, but is also challenging both the Afghan government and the Taliban in Afghanistan, often replacing the Taliban’s white flags with its own black flags. And Raul re-entered the thick of it.

There is some disagreement over whether Rauf was killed by a U.S. drone strike or by Afghan special forces. Whoever did it was obliged to expend effort killing a committed terrorist who had already been apprehended.

If President Obama succeeds in closing Gitmo, that will send one more signal to our terrorist foes of our lack of stomach for the fight that lies before us. We would rather congratulate ourselves on our enlightened extension of civil liberties to murderers who are essentially engaged in a war against modernity, than take the obvious and necessary steps, including the perhaps sad necessity of retaining Gitmo, that are necessary to protect innocent life throughout the globe.



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