Dispatches From the Front

A long-awaited Defense Department report, publication of which is apparently being held up by politics, reportedly finds that one in seven detainees released from Guantanamo Bay has again engaged in terrorist acts. That’s not a finding that DOD is interested in reporting, given the current political winds:

Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the report was being held up by Defense Department employees fearful of upsetting the White House…. A Defense Department official said there was little will inside the Pentagon to release the report because it had become politically radioactive under Mr. Obama.

Hope and change! The New York Times article linked above quotes “terrorism experts” to the effect that a 14 percent recidivism rate is really pretty low. Of course, that’s just the number that we know have returned to terrorism. There is no way to know how many others have not yet been identified or apprehended.

Meanwhile, here in Minneapolis, a Canadian Somali named Mohammed Abdullah Warsame has pled guilty to aiding al Qaeda and may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, followed by deportation to Canada. Warsame has been incarcerated since 2003, and his case has been something of a cause celebre among liberals. In the plea agreement announced today, Warsame admitted that he collaborated with al Qaeda beginning in 2000 and provided material support to the terrorist organization, fought with the Taliban and attended terrorist training camps. Authorities say that he once dined with Osama bin Laden. If nothing else, the Warsame case illustrates the difficulty of using the federal courts to deal with terrorists.

In Great Britain, an investigation has found that the explosion in Pakistanis traveling to the U.K. on student visas–some of whom have turned out to be terrorists–has been fueled in considerable part by a network of fake colleges. One, for example, claimed to have 150 students but “secretly enrolled” 1,178 and offered places to another 1,575 overseas “students.” Apparently in the U.K. you can get a student visa even if the institution at which you are a “student” doesn’t actually exist. Is that true here? I don’t know.

Somewhere out there, there’s a war on.

UPDATE: Tom Joscelyn points out that the number of terrorist recidivists identified by the Defense Department has doubled in the last 11 months.


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