Obama declines to take “yes” for an answer on detaining terrorists, Part Two

Yesterday, Jed Babbin reported that White House lawyers are refusing to accept the findings of an inter-agency committee that the Uighur Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay are too dangerous to release inside the U.S. Today, Thomas Joscelyn shows that a contrary finding would not only contradict the “inter-agency” conclusion, but would also be hard to square with the Treasury Department’s recent designation of Abdul Haq, the leader of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party (“ETIP”), as a terrorist.

In so designating Abdul Haq, the Treasury Department noted that he is a member of al Qaeda’s Shura Council – a position reserved for only key terrorists with close ties to the terror organization. .Abdul Haq is also on the U.N.’s list of persons associated with Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, or the Taliban.

The question then becomes whether (or perhaps to what extent) the 17 Uighur detainees are linked to Abdul Haq. The answer, according to Joscelyn, is that at least ten of the Uighurs (including two who have been transferred to Albania) have openly admitted their ties to Abdul Haq, as well as to Hassan Mahsum, who before he was killed in Waziristan in October 2003, was the leader of ETIP. The admissions came during their testimony at combatant status review tribunals at Guantánamo Bay. Even as the detainees were protesting their general innocence, they admitted that they received training at a camp in Tora Boro that was run by Abdul Haq. One of them testified that when he and his comrades went to the mountains “we were waiting for Abdul Haq, he was in charge of the group. We were waiting for him to come up to give orders or take us somewhere else.”

Haq is, in Joscelyn’s words, “a violent jihadist who shares al Qaeda’s ideology, maintains operational ties to the organization as a member of its Shura Council, and seeks the creation of a radical Islamist state throughout Central and South Asia.” Why does the Obama administration want to relocate a a cadre of his trainees to the United States?

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