OTR Interviews

'Troubling' Gitmo detainees released into Al Qaeda country

The Obama administration has quietly 'transferred' 10 Yemeni detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to neighboring Oman - which is near Al Qaeda's most active branch. Catherine Herridge reports for 'On the Record'


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 14, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: 10 Gitmo detainees released today, how dangerous are these men? Where are they headed? 

Fox News Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge is here. Catherine, who are they and where did they go?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are 10 detainees transferred to Oman, a gulf nation kind of in the middle of Al Qaeda's neighborhood in the gulf. Five of the men were deemed to be high risk detainees under the Bush administration. But now they have been transferred.

VAN SUSTEREN: Transferred or released?

HERRIDGE: Transferred because there are some conditions of confinement though.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the foreign minister...

HERRIDGE: They are secret.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yeah they are secret. The foreign minister of Oman was quoted as saying "A temporary stay."

HERRIDGE: This is what is concerning because it's pretty much hop, skip, and a jump into Yemen which is the most active Al Qaeda affiliate. What changed with these guys that allowed for the transfer? The simple answer is there was no real change in the evidence against them. These are Al Qaeda guys, Taliban guys. One guy was something called the Dirty 30, which was a group of body guards that the Pakistanis picked up in December of 2001. What's changed is that the White House is really willing to accept more risk in order to make these transfers and to fulfill the President's campaign promise.

VAN SUSTEREN: But we can't even make a judgment whether the President is right or wrong because they won't tell us the deal with Oman, although maybe there is a coincidence there was a weapons deal...

HERRIDGE: You know I found that pretty interesting. On January 7th, a $51 million weapons contract was approved by the State Department who negotiates these deals with Oman. The State Department told us today they were completely separate.

VAN SUSTEREN: Of course they said that. What a coincidence. What a coincidence.

HERRIDGE: I know. But you are on the right track here because each one of these deals is not done for free. There is always other money, weapons, or some promise of a favor in the future. This is not just the Obama White House. This was also the Bush White House. But the bottom line is that these guys have been moved, some of them were high risk under the Bush administration, and we're going to feel the impact in about two to three years once this President is out of the White House and really has no political accountability.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, I would like to know the deal. And I think I ought to know the deal.


VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine, thank you.

HERRIDGE: You are welcome.