“We are coordinating with officials to determine his whereabouts.”

These words from an “unnamed U.S. official” to the Washington Post might be concerning enough if they referred to a bank robber, car thief, or drug dealer, but in fact, the man referred to is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has now… simply vanished.

Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, who also goes by at least four aliases, is a Syrian who trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and was on their payroll as he fought alongside Osama bin Laden, and hid Abu Musab Al Zarqawi in his home.

An expert in passport forgery, Dhiab worked with extremist groups in Libya and the terror group Asbat al-Ansar.

He was captured in 2002 and sent to Gitmo where Detainee Assessments conducted every two years recommended continued detention, finding him to be a “high risk likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies, a high threat, and of high intelligence value.”

The last assessment, with those specific findings, was issued by the Department of Defense on April 21, 2008, but less than two years after that recommendation – one year after President Obama took office, Dhiab, was approved for transfer out of Gitmo.

Obama, lacking the Constitutional authority to make good on his campaign promise to close the detention facility, began arranging for the release of prisoners from Guantanamo to countries that were willing to accept low-risk terrorists, and under this policy, Dhiab was one of six Middle Eastern and North African detainees, transferred to Uruguay in December 2014.

Except, of course, Dhiab was not a low-risk prisoner, and has now disappeared.

Officials at the Department of Defense could not have been more accurate in their assessment and recommendation, but a White House determined to empty Gitmo at all costs chose to ignore those warnings, sending an al Qaeda-trained terrorist back into action against Americans and our allies.

Not surprisingly, the White House declined to comment.

 

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