Friday, January 23, 2009

Gitmo Prisoner Released to Saudi Arabia, Graduated from Jihad Rehab, Rejoined Al Qaeda: Success Story?

You've read about it: a Saudi man, Said Ali al-Shihri, had been held at "Gitmo," the Guantanamo (Guantánamo, if you insist) Bay prison for terrorists. Then, he was released, to Saudi Arabia.

As The New York Times put it this morning, "He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen." At least, he's back and with Al Qaeda - according to a website used by terrorists. They may be right.

Al-Shihri was in Gitmo, because he was probably involved in a lethal bombing of the American Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sana. After he was released and went home to Saudi Arabia, he went through the desert kingdom's jihad rehab program. And released, as a successful graduate.

Well, more-or-less successful. Looks to me like Yemen is on the Arabian Peninsula, and graduates from Saudi Arabia's jihad rehabilitation program are supposed to lay off acts of terrorism - on the Arabian Peninsula. The rest of us, it seems, are fair game.

Yemen is setting up its own jihad rehab program, according to Arab News. Yemen is getting ready for the 100 or so Yemenis expected to be sprung from Gitmo, now that America has a new administration.

As Arab News put it, "The move triggered outrage among rights activists who said the government’s plan to keep the returnees in a rehabilitation center in their home country only means re-jailing them."

Judging from the Saudi example, I'd say that the 'rights activists' don't have much to worry about. Not about the Gitmo prisoners being re-jailed.

The case of al-Shihri, the jihad rehab programs, and the prisoners at Gitmo brings up an interesting point: Isn't it customary to wait until after a war is over, to release prisoners of war?

As Clive Davis said in the Spectator: "Well, let's hope this has all been thought through."

Related posts: News and views:


ecrunner said...

Seeing a story like this scares me. I have to wonder why Obama was so pressed on making this move. I thought his main goals in office were to work on financial stuff, housing, and something he said about wireless internet (don't get me started on that one). If he wants to get into foreign matters, why not focus on the war, not those who are already detained.

Brian H. Gill said...


I'd have to look this up to be sure, but as I recall, one of Obama's promises was to shut down Gitmo. The facility is not well-liked among many Obama supporters, and others.

Actually, I think this is part of President Obama's way of focusing on the war. One of the recurring themes over the last few years, in the more liberal facets of America, has been the way that America has acted unilaterally, and ignored "the international community." Which, at times, has seemed to consist mainly of select portions of the French government.

My guess is that Obama is trying to show how nice, or open-minded, or global, or something, America is now.

But that's just a guess. The Spectator op-ed, linked in this post, has an interesting thought or two on the subject.

Anonymous said...

I am in no way in favor of this act.

1. It is a disgrace to the war on terror by letting these prisoners out of US control possibly.

2. This prison is a crime fighting one, and it needs to stay open and willing to house any terrorist.

3. The war on terror is won by making sure that the terrorist are captured and held for life.

to read more go to

or click my username

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.