March 02, 2022

Risch, Rubio, Inhofe Urge President Not to Transfer Al-Qaeda Terrorist from Guantanamo

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reconsider his reported decision to transfer terrorist Mohammed al-Qahtani from Guatanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia. Al-Qahtani was detained for his attempted role in the September 11th terrorist attacks against the United States and is a devout jihadist.

“The individuals remaining at Guantanamo are some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world and have dedicated their lives to attacking Americans and our allies,” the senators warned. “As such, they should not be given the opportunity to return to the battlefield in any role.”

Full text of the letter can be found here and below: 

Dear Mr. President: 

We write with grave concern regarding your administration’s reported decision to transfer terrorist Mohammed al-Qahtani from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia. We urge you to immediately reverse this decision as we believe this detainee continues to pose serious threats to U.S. national security. 

As you are no doubt aware, al-Qaeda fighter Mohammed al-Qahtani is often referred to as the “20th hijacker” for his attempted role in the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Al-Qahtani was selected by senior al-Qaeda members to partake in the 9/11 attacks, but U.S. authorities prevented him from entering the country in 2001 to join the other 19 hijackers. Al-Qahtani was later captured in Pakistan in December 2001 with a group of Bin Laden’s body guards. He was sent to Guantanamo in 2002 where he has remained since. He is a devout jihadist who committed his life to killing Americans. We are concerned that that he may try to resume terrorist activity once released from U.S. custody. We will be sending a classified annex in a separate delivery which further highlights our concerns. 

The individuals remaining at Guantanamo are some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world and have dedicated their lives to attacking Americans and our allies. As such, they should not be given the opportunity to return to the battlefield in any role. 

Sincerely,

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