Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obama to send six Gitmo detainees back to Yemen

The Obama administration is planning to repatriate six Yemenis held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a transfer that could be a prelude to the release of dozens more detainees to Yemen, according to sources with independent knowledge of the matter.

The release is a significant first step toward dealing with the largest group of detainees at the prison -- there are currently 97 Yemenis there -- and toward meeting President Obama's goal of closing the facility.

But Yemen's security problems and lack of resources have spawned fears about its ability to monitor and rehabilitate returnees. Critics of the administration charge that returning detainees to Yemen, a country where al-Qaeda is believed to be thriving, is tantamount to returning terrorists to the battlefield....

Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), a critic of the administration policy on Guantanamo, said Yemeni detainees pose a particular risk because of the instability of their home country.

"Stop. These men are dangerous," Wolf said when asked about the transfer. "I believe they will be involved in terrorism that will cost American lives."...