President Obama is facing fresh complications in his push to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp after the U.S. intelligence community revealed in a new report that two more former prisoners have returned to the battlefield – bringing the total number of detainees who have returned to terror under the Obama administration to nine.
The recidivism report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday, covers a six-month period that ended July 15.
In it, the government confirmed that at least two Gitmo prisoners released during the Obama administration, and at least two more released under former President George W. Bush’s administration, have returned to “terrorist activities” during the first half of 2016.
The report quickly fueled warnings from lawmakers already fighting in Congress to halt the closure effort. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the report “underscores the need” to keep the detention center operational.
The new report shows that of the 161 former detainees released during this administration, nine are “confirmed” to be “directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.”
By comparison, 532 detainees were released during the Bush administration, of which 113 have re-engaged in some type of terror-tied activity.
Meanwhile, the House on Thursday passed a bill that would temporarily halt the transfer of more detainees from the U.S. naval prison. The bill, which passed by a 244-174 vote, prohibits federal funds from being used for the transfers.
Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., who sponsored the bill, told FoxNews.com in a written statement it is “more critical than ever that we put the safety and security of the American people first.”
“The administration has made clear it intends to transfer as many terrorist detainees as possible from Gitmo before the president leaves office in order to fulfill a misguided campaign promise,” she said. “This is reckless, and it puts American lives at risk.”
Despite passage in the House, the bill has little chance of becoming law. It’s not likely to survive a Senate showdown, and the White House has already threatened a veto.
The White House has been trying to close the detention facility ever since Obama took office in 2009. Efforts by the administration to shutter the prison have been blocked by bipartisan opposition in Congress. To date, 44 detainees have been transferred in 2016. Fifteen were sent to the United Arab Emirates last month. Of the 61 detainees that remain in Gitmo, 20 have been cleared for transfer.
“For the president, this is about keeping a campaign promise,” Ryan said in a written statement. “For us, this is about keeping Americans safe.”
Source: Fox News