Number of ex-Gitmo detainees returning to terrorism increases

Three additional terrorists once held at the Guantanamo Bay prison were confirmed as having returned to terrorism after their release, and two others joined the ranks of those suspected of rejoining jihad against the West, according to a U.S. intelligence report made public last week.

The report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) also reveals that three of the confirmed returning terrorists were killed since January, when the last report to Congress was made public.

Of the 603 terrorists released from the prison, 100 are now confirmed as having returned to terrorism. Of those, 17 are dead, 27 are in custody, and 56 are free. Released detainees suspected of having returned to terrorism number 74, including two that are dead, 25 that are in custody, and 47 no longer being held.

By contrast, in January there were a total of 97 released prisoners who returned to terrorism and another 72 who were suspected of re-engaging in terrorism.

Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said releasing Guantanamo inmates increases the danger they will return to jihad.

"Once a detainee is transferred from Guantanamo to his home country, or a third country, there is no guarantee that appropriate security measures will be put in place," Joscelyn said in an email. "Yet, the U.S. government frequently requires the receiving country to enact such measures as part of the transfer agreement. Thus, even detainees who are known to be very dangerous have rejoined the fight after leaving Guantanamo."

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