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Argument: If released, many Guantanamo detainees will return to terrorism

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Supporting evidence

"No Good Reason To Close Gitmo". Heritage Foundation. June 14, 2005 - "Releasing the detainees now is not a realistic option. While holding detainees indefinitely is not likely, releasing them now is not a realistic option. Many detainees released from Guantanamo Bay returned to their home countries only to resume terrorist attacks against civilians. According to The Washington Post, at least 10 of the 202 detainees released from Guantanamo were later captured or killed while fighting U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.[3] Mark Jacobson, a former special assistant for detainee policy at the Department of Defense, estimated that as many as 25 of the 202 had taken up arms again.

For example, Mullah Shahzada, a former Taliban field commander who apparently convinced officials at Guantanamo that he had sworn off violence, was freed in 2003, and immediately rejoined the Taliban. He was subsequently killed in battle in the summer of 2004 in Afghanistan. Maulvi Ghafar, a Taliban commander captured in 2001, was released in February 2004. He was subsequently killed in a shootout with Afghan government forces in September 2004. Abdullah Mesud, a Pakistani who was captured fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, bragged that he was able to hide his true identity for two years at Guantanamo before being released in March 2004. He was considered a low-risk security threat because of his artificial leg. After returning to Pakistan, Mesud led a group of Islamic militants—part of a campaign against the Pakistani government—that kidnapped two Chinese engineers working on a dam. One of the engineers and several militants were subsequently killed in a government raid.[4] Mesud is still at large.

Clearly, the detainees kept at Guantanamo pose a significant threat to Americans, U.S. allies, and civilians in their home countries. This threat must be weighed long and hard before any decision is made to release an individual detainee or to change the system under which detainees are held."

Gen. Myers says the detention facility in Guantanamo is a “model facility” in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and that the U.S. spends $2.5 million annually to provide Muslim-approved food and distributed 1,300 Korans in 13 languages. “But here’s the question that needs to be debated by everybody, and that is: How do you handle people who aren’t part of a nation-state effort, that are picked up on the battlefield, that if you release them or let them go back to their home countries, they would turn right around and try to slit our throats, our children’s throats?” Gen. Myers said. “We struggle with how to handle them. But we’ve always handled them humanely and with the dignity that they should be accorded,” Gen. Myers said.

"Sen. Cornyn: Closing Gitmo Could Make America Less Safe". Texas January 23, 2009 - “Today President Obama, on only his third day as Commander-in-Chief, took a dangerous step in the wrong direction by choosing to close Guantanamo Bay. Now he must answer the important question of what is to be done with these dangerous individuals.

Dozens of former Guantanamo detainees who have already been released have returned to the battlefield, continuing to advance their anti-American ideals. If history is any indication of what is to come, our national security is at great risk. Where are our assurances that the remaining detainees will not return to their radical ways and put Americans in harm’s way?

Letter from Texas Senator John Cornyn to Barack Obama arguing against closing Guantanamo. January 22, 2009 - According to the latest numbers from the Department of Defense, at least 61 detainees who have been held and released from Guantanamo Bay are either suspected or confirmed as having returned to the battlefield to take up arms against the U.S. military, and there is every reason to believe that many of the current detainees would do the same. Release is, thus, not a viable alternative.

"Pentagon urges Congress to keep Guantanamo open". Reuters. May 9, 2007 - They warned that early closure could threaten security, saying 30 of about 390 Guantanamo detainees already released or transferred have rejoined Islamist militant comrades fighting against U.S. interests.

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