Category Archive 'Uighurs'

12 Jun 2009

Four Uighurs, Trained at Tora Bora, Will Be Going to Bermuda

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Thomas Joscelyn has news on the Obama Administration’s latest tropical retirement for terrorists at US taxpayers’ expense breakthrough.

Surviving German and Italian prisoners of war of the WWII era, who were, after all, lawful combatants fighting in uniform as members of military forces typically observing the laws and customs of war, were by comparison lodged in Spartan conditions behind barbed wire and commonly required to perform agricultural or construction labor. Those Axis POWs must be feeling a trifle slighted. No one ever offered to release them into new lives in vacation playgrounds.

Palau is not the only resort island willing to take the Uighurs detained at Guantanamo. The Obama administration has transferred four Uighurs to Bermuda, which is, of course, much closer to the continental U.S. than Palau. Understandably, the Obama administration has placed travel restrictions on the Uighurs. ABC News reports that they are not allowed to travel to the U.S. without prior consent.

This alone is somewhat of a reversal by the administration, since it was reportedly considering freeing some of the Uighur detainees in the U.S. at one point. One wonders what our European allies will think, too. Leading European nations were only willing to consider taking detainees, including the Uighurs, if the administration showed a willingness to release them on U.S. soil. While the administration has found a home for the Uighurs, it fails to satisfy the quid pro quo conditions that our allies have demanded. Keep an eye out for Europe’s reaction to this news, and whether attitudes across the pond evolve. The reaction of European politicians could very well be: If the Obama administration won’t even allow former detainees to travel to the U.S., then why should we free them in our own nations?

So, who are Bermuda’s new residents? And why would the Obama administration place travel restrictions on them?

All four of them are members or associates of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (otherwise known as the Turkistan Islamic Party). The ETIM/TIP is a U.S. and UN designated terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda and has attacked civilians in China, as well as reportedly plotted against other targets elsewhere, including the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan. According to the State Department, ETIM/TIP members have also fought alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And last year the organization threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China.

The four Uighurs attempted to deny any relationship with the ETIM/TIP, the Taliban, and al Qaeda during their CSRTs. But their denials are not credible. In the context of their denials they made important admissions.

For example, all four of the Uighurs admitted during their combatant status review tribunals (CSRTs) at Gitmo that they received training in the Taliban’s Afghanistan. And all four of them received this training at an ETIM/TIP terrorist training facility in Tora Bora, a key area once controlled by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Three of the four Uighurs transferred to Bermuda also admitted that they had firsthand ties to senior terrorists such as Hassan Mahsum and Abdul Haq – the leaders of the ETIM/TIP. Haq was recently designated an al Qaeda terrorist by the Obama administration’s Treasury Department, which noted that he is also a member of al Qaeda’s elite Shura council. Mahsum was killed in a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold in northern Pakistan in 2003.

11 Jun 2009

Fighting Terrorism Obama-Style

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As Stephen Hayes describes, first you make sure that US forces Mirandize captured enemy fighters.

When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was captured on March 1, 2003, he was not cooperative. “I’ll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer,” he said, according to former CIA Director George Tenet.

Of course, KSM did not get a lawyer until months later, after his interrogation was completed, and Tenet says that the information the CIA obtained from him disrupted plots and saved lives. “I believe none of these successes would have happened if we had had to treat KSM like a white-collar criminal — read him his Miranda rights and get him a lawyer who surely would have insisted that his client simply shut up,” Tenet wrote in his memoirs.

If Tenet is right, it’s a good thing KSM was captured before Barack Obama became president. For, the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

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Then, you arrange $11.1 million a head retirement packages to the South Seas for your prisoners. Yes, 17 Uighurs into $200 million comes to $11.1 million semolians.

Fox News:

Palau says its decision to temporarily take the 17 Uighurs, or Chinese Muslims, being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison was a “humanitarian gesture.”

But the South Pacific island may have been motivated more by 200 million other reasons.

Two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that the U.S. was prepared to give Palau up to $200 million in return for accepting the Uighurs and as part of a mutual defense and cooperation treaty that is due to be renegotiated this year.

Figures on Palau’s federal budget weren’t immediately available, but if it is close to its size in 1999, when it was $71 million, the deal with the U.S. would in effect more than double the nation’s spending and make it the fastest growing economy in the world.

Frankly, I bet you could get very close to every terrorist simply to put down his AK-47 and retire for a considerably smaller one-time payment.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine a more effective recruiting promotional deal. I can see Achmed the al Qaeda recruiter delivering his spiel even now, “And if the soldiers of the great Shaitan capture you, they will only provide you with attorneys from Sherman & Sterling before funding your retirement to a life of leisure in a tropical paradise surrounded by beautiful maidens serving you Mai Tais. Inshallah!”


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