Obama frees al-Qaida explosives expert from Gitmo

By Leo Hohmann

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Obama administration announced Thursday the latest release of terrorists from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

One of the men, a Bosnian named Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al-Sawah, admitted to being a member of al-Qaida and developed explosives for the terror group to target U.S. military personnel and civilians, the Free Beacon reported.

The Hill first reported the release and transfer of al-Sawah back to Bosnia.

Al-Sawah developed explosives and trained al-Qaida operatives in how to use them, according to his file, which was published by the New York Times.

“Detainee is an admitted member of al-Qaida who developed special improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for use against U.S. military forces and civilians. These IEDs included the limpet mine to sink U.S. naval vessels and the prototype for the shoe-bomb used in a failed attack on a civilian transatlantic flight,” the Defense Department file read.

“Prior to detention, detainee admitted teaching explosives at the al-Qaida advanced training camp at Tarnak Farm, aka (Abu Ubaydah Camp), where Usama Bin Laden (UBL) personally praised detainee for his ‘good work.'”

Last week, WND reported that 10 terrorists had been released and sent to their native Yemen while an 11th had been sent to Saudi Arabia. The 11th had once threatened to kill Americans in Iraq.

Only 91 prisoners remain at Gitmo. It once held as many as 779 after being opened in 2002 following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the launching of President George W. Bush’s “war on terror.”

A total of 29 percent of released Gitmo detainees have been confirmed or suspected of returning to the battlefield, according to a 2015 report by the Director of National Intelligence.

Al-Sawah’s file further noted he is associated with several explosives experts, some of whom are still at large, in addition to senior al-Qaida operatives and individuals behind international terrorist attacks. He also may have possessed “advanced knowledge” of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States.

The file also labeled al-Sawah a “veteran extremist combatant.”

Officials noted that al-Sawah would “possibly re-establish extremist associations” if released, but deemed it unlikely given the extent to which he cooperated with the U.S. government by providing intelligence regarding explosives and al-Qaida’s activities.

The review board set up by President Obama to review remaining detainee transfers decided to release him last February.

Al-Sawah’s release is part of a larger effort by the Obama administration to close down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay before the president leaves office.

The Pentagon also announced the transfer of Abd al-Aziz Abduh Abdallah Ali al-Suwaydi, a 41-year-old Yemeni, to Montenegro.

Al-Suwaydi admitted to being an explosives trainer, according to his files posted by the Times.

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