Sen. James Inhofe is warning that Americans will pay a costly price for Barack Obama’s decision to release five of the “most dangerous” terrorists in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a captured American soldier.
“They’ve already killed Americans. They’re going to kill more,” he said bluntly during an interview on Fox News with Megan Kelly Monday night.
Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee, doubted the idea the five terror leaders who have been delivered to Qatar won’t be a threat to the U.S. because Qatari officials said they will be monitored for a year.
Inhofe said the five will spend a year raising funds and support and making plans, then will be back on the battlefield against freedom.
“These five guys just by their titles are arguably the most dangerous of the 149 left in Gitmo,” he said.
The five were identified as Mullah Mohammad Fazl, the chief of army staff under the Taliban; Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, the interior minister for the Taliban; Mullah Norullah Noori, a governor for the Taliban; Abdl Haq Wasiq, a deputy in the intelligence service for the Taliban; and Mohammad Nabi Omari, a link to both al-Qaida and other terror groups. All probably are in their 40s or 50s.
According to NPR, Fazl, from the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, “is wanted by the U.N. for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites. Detainee was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces.”
Khairkhwa was reported to be “directly associated with Osama bin Laden and Taliban Supreme Commander Mullah Muhammad Omar.” He sought support for Taliban “hostilities against U.S. and Coalition forces.” Also has run a training camp, was identified as a narcotics trafficker and probably an opium drug lord.
The report said Noori was a senior Taliban commander, “Wanted by the United Nations for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.”
Omari was identified repeatedly as a “high risk,” “high threat” and more after serving in several leadership roles. He was identified in the report has having strong ties to al-Qaida, Taliban, Haqqani Network and others. “Was involved in attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces.”
The last, Wasiq “had direct access to Taliban and Hezb-e-Islarni Gulbuddin leadership.” Was “central” to Taliban plans to work with other Islamists to fight the U.S.
A detainee assessment about Fazl noted that, “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret.”
ABC said in a video report that terrorist leaders were calling the exchange a “major victory.”
The report said the detainees arrived in Qatar with no sign of guards, being in custody or other restrictions.
The federal government previously has described all five as being “too dangerous” to be set free.
The five were exchanged for soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who vanished from his camp in 2009 and later turned up on terrorist videos.
Also on Fox on Monday night, two of the soldiers who served alongside Bergdahl, Gerald Sutton and Cody Full, both said they believe Bergdahl simply deserted his army assignment.
Full noted that Bergdahl had mailed “his stuff” back to his home in the U.S. shortly before he went missing.
Full said, “He violated his oath when he deserted us.”
Sutton said, “I want to see him face the consequences of his own actions.”
NPR’s report noted all five terror leaders are “likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”
CNN said an airplane flew the five from Guantanamo Bay when it was announced Bergdahl has been freed.
The weekend deal was brokered by Qatari officials.