At least 116 detainees transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba have been “confirmed of reengaging” in militant activities, according to a new report released earlier this week by the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Of the 116, 23 are back in custody while 25 have since been killed in military operations, including in American drone strikes, according to the report. An additional 69 people are “suspected of reengaging” in “terrorist or insurgent activities” since their release.
“Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” the report said. “While enforcement of transfer conditions may deter reengagement by many former detainees and delay reengagement by others, some detainees who are determined to reengage will do so regardless of any transfer conditions.”
However, according to the report, since Jan. 22, 2009, when U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to shutter the detention camp, only six of the 115 detainees released (5.2 percent) have re-engaged in militant activities, as opposed to nearly 21 percent of those released before Obama took office.
The latest report is likely to further fuel debate over the future of the 122 detainees still being held at Guantanamo. Several Senate Republicans have opposed Obama’s effort to close the detention camp, warning that the release of detainees could pose a national security threat to the U.S.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that at least one of the five Taliban militants released from Guantanamo in 2014, in exchange for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, had re-established contact with the group. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reportedly declined to name the released prisoner.
The five Taliban militants, who had previously been described by Sen. John McCain as the “hardest of the hard-core,” were released in May last year and sent to Qatar in return for Bergdahl’s release. Under the release agreement, the five senior members of the Taliban -- Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammad Nabi Omari -- were to be held in Qatar for a year.