Rep Wolf Again Demands GTMO Detainees Not Be Sent To Al-Qaeda Stronghold, Yemen

November 12, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Representative Frank Wolf [R, VA] has for the second time demanded that the Obama administration not send GTMO detainees to Yemen which harbors a growing al-Qaeda presence.

Wolf made the following statement regarding the matter.

"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) is again asking the Obama Administration to rethink its plans to release Guantanamo Bay detainees back to Yemen, particularly in light of the recent tragedy at Fort Hood where the alleged shooter reportedly has ties to a radical cleric now living in Yemen.

In a letter today to the president, Wolf implored the administration not to send any more detainees back to Yemen, or any other unstable country. He also requested that fact sheets and threat assessments on each detainee cleared for release be made public.

The American people have a right to know who these detainees are and what acts of terror they were engaged in, Wolf wrote. If the public had this information, they would never tolerate the release of these men back to unstable countries with a sizeable al Qaeda presence.

This is the fourth time since October 1 that Wolf has asked the Obama Administration to rethink its position on sending detainees to Yemen.

If the administration does not halt these pending releases immediately, it could be responsible for creating a new revolving door of terrorism that will cost American lives, Wolf wrote today. The security of the American people could be at risk because of the administration's relentless pursuit of a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay by January 22, 2010.

Why has the administration made basic information about these dangerous detainees so highly classified that it cannot be shared with the American people or the media? Wolf asked. I have reviewed the materials. These are dangerous individuals. To release committed al Qaeda terrorists back to Yemen under these conditions would be an act of gross malfeasance that undermines the safety of the American people.

Wolf, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Justice Department and the author of the language that created the National Commission on Terrorism in 1998, has repeatedly pointed to the deteriorating security situation in Yemen as cause for concern. He also cited recent media reports of a foiled terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia where one of the alleged terrorists was a former Guantanamo detainee who entered the country from Yemen.

In addition, Wolf pointed to recent comments by the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Micheal Leiter, who in an interview with Voice of America said: In Yemen, we have witnessed the reemergence of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the possibility that that will become the base of operations for al-Qaida.

In today's letter, Wolf also raised concerns about Anwar al-Aulaqi, the radical cleric now living in Yemen who has ties to Fort Hood gunman Major Nidal M. Hasan and also mentored two of the 9/11 hijackers.

As the facts surrounding the Fort Hood attack have emerged, it is becoming clear that anyone who is cited in the 9/11 Commission Report -- as al-Aulaqi was on page 221 -- as a 'significant' contact for 9/11 terrorists Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar should be considered a 'significant' connection to Hasan, Wolf wrote. Al-Aulaqi has subsequently praised Hasan's attack stating on his Web site: 'Nidal Hassan is a hero... Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal,''' according to a translation.

The American people deserve a full accounting of al-Aulaqi's relationship with Hasan and his incitement of terrorism in Yemen, Wolf continued. Since fleeing to Yemen in 2004, al-Aulaqi has taught his radical ideology at the Iman University in Sanaa, Yemen -- the same university attended by convicted terrorist John Walker Lindh. In 2002, the university was temporarily closed following a deadly attack by one of its students on three American citizens in Yemen. If al-Aulaqi were able to have this impact on a U.S. Army major at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Fort Hood, what impact will he have on the newly freed detainees in Yemen?"