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Disclosure that former Gitmo terrorists are fighting in Syria comes as al Qaeda is experiencing a resurgence in North Africa and the Middle East.
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Former Gitmo Prisoners
Fighting with Islamists in Syria

Washington Free Beacon
Former terrorists held at the US prison in Guantanamo, Cuba were detected by US intelligence agencies recently working with Islamist rebels in Syria, according to US officials.

The al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria are part of a group called the Al Nusrah Front that is fighting alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the rebels opposing the Bashar al-Assad regime in the civil war.

The number and names of the former Guantanamo inmates were not disclosed. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing intelligence matters on Syria.

However, the al Qaeda parolees who are re-engaging in terrorism further highlight the problem of releasing prisoners from the US Naval Base prison in Cuba.

US intelligence agencies recently reported that 168 terrorists of 602 detainees that were transferred to other countries from Guantanamo rejoined terrorist groups or otherwise took part in insurgent and terrorist activities. Many of the released terrorists are being held by foreign governments or were killed.

"They're not only in Syria but in adjoining countries," said one official familiar with intelligence reports. "A number of Gitmo parolees have graduated out of their rehab programs and returned to the fight."

The official was referring to several programs run by governments in the Middle East and North African states that use special "rehabilitation" program designed to re-educate Islamist terrorists and prevent them from returning to violent jihadism.

Saudi Arabia's government has claimed that its terrorism rehabilitation program has converted former terrorists.

However, US critics have said many Islamist radicals are able to fool the government officials running those programs into believing they have changed and then they flee and re-join terrorist groups.

Frank Gaffney, director of the Center for Security Policy, said both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations mistakenly released terrorists from Guantanamo under the misguided notion they could be rehabilitated.

"You cannot take the terrorists out of jihad by letting them go from Gitmo and rehabilitating them, or otherwise pretending that they have been transformed into previously dangerous but no longer threatening people," Gaffney said in an interview.

"The truth is as long as they are adherents to the doctrine of Sharia [Islamic law], you can't take the jihad out of terrorists, and therefore you cannot take the terrorism out of jihad," he said.

Disclosure that former Gitmo terrorists are fighting in Syria comes as al Qaeda is experiencing a resurgence in North Africa and the Middle East, despite US counterterrorism activities that have led to the deaths of key al Qaeda leaders and commanders.

Recent al Qaeda attacks took place in Libya in September and last month in Algeria.


Editor's Note: Stunning is the thought, commonly held by Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and the anti-war Left, that leaving Iraq and Afghanistan will end the American role in the conflict with violent jihadists. It needs to be understood that when a violent and lethal ideological group, with global reach and safe havens for training, declare war on you, you don't get to say no...

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