Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guess What? Terrorists Are The Same All Over: Once Released, Some Do Kill Again (Updated)

Of course, that is something that Israel has known for a while.

From Arutz Sheva, March 2007:
The Almagor Terrorist Victims Association has published a report on the results of Israel's release of imprisoned terrorists in prisoner exchanges. At least 30 recent terror attacks were perpetrated by terrorists who were released from Israeli jails.

Almagor conducted and published the report Iight of the apparent intention to release terrorists "without blood on their hands" - i.e., terrorists who did not succeed in murdering their victims - in exchange for one or more of the three kidnapped soldiers.
According to the findings:
Between 1993 and 1999, 6,912 terrorists were freed. As of August 2003, 854 of them (12.4%) had been re-arrested for murderous activity. Another two-thirds of them returned to terrorist activity, be it in capacities of command, training or actual perpetration of attacks.

Among the attacks perpetrated by freed terrorists were:
  • the lynching of two soldiers in Ramallah (Oct. 2000)
  • shooting deaths of Binyamin and Talia Kahane (Dec. 2000)
  • suicide explosions in Netanya, 8 dead (March and May, 2001)
  • Sea Food Market suicide blast, 3 dead (March 2002)
  • shooting in Atzmona yeshiva, 5 youths dead (March 2002)
  • Park Hotel suicide bomber during Passover Seder, 30 dead (March 2002)
  • bus blasts at Megiddo, Karkur, Jerusalem, 55 dead (June 2002 - June 2003)
  • double suicide attacks in Be'er Sheva, 16 dead (August 2004)

Now we find out that according to The New York Times:
1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds

An unreleased Pentagon report concludes that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has returned to terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.

The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against the transfer or release of any more detainees as part of President Obama’s plan to shut down the prison by January. Past Pentagon reports on Guantánamo recidivism have been met with skepticism from civil liberties groups and criticized for their lack of detail.
But of course, there is always that silver lining:
Mr. Denbeaux [Seton Hall University School of Law, who has represented Guantánamo detainee] acknowledged that some of the named detainees had engaged in verifiable terrorist acts since their release, but he said his research showed that their numbers were small.

“We’ve never said there weren’t some people who would return to the fight,” Mr. Denbeaux said. “It seems to be unavoidable. Nothing is perfect.”

Terrorism experts said a 14 percent recidivism rate was far lower than the rate for prisoners in the United States, which, they said, can run as high as 68 percent three years after release. They also said that while Americans might have a lower level of tolerance for recidivism among Guantánamo detainees, there was no evidence that any of those released had engaged in elaborate operations like the Sept. 11 attacks.
Just your average nickel and dime terrorism, no doubt.

UPDATE: Thomas Joscelyn writes at The Weekly Standard:
the Pentagon had previously released a similar report on June 13, 2008. The report we’ve been expecting since earlier this year, and which only the New York Times now has a copy, is merely an update of that June 2008 report, which is freely available online. There is no good reason the updated report, as well as further updates, cannot be released in a similar fashion.

Indeed, the differences between the June 2008 report and its successors are especially troubling. Perhaps those differences explain why an updated version of the June 2008 report would be especially problematic for the Obama administration as it attempts to close Gitmo.

The June 13, 2008, report noted that 37 former detainees were “confirmed or suspected” of returning to terrorism. On January 13, 2009, seven months later, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said that number had climbed to 61. Now, according to the Times, the DOD has found that same metric has risen further to 74--exactly double the Pentagon’s estimate just 11 months ago.

At that rate, the Pentagon is identifying, on average, more than 3 former Gitmo detainees who are thought to have returned to terrorism each month.

That does not bode well.
No, it doesn't.
Read the whole thing.

UPDATE II: I don't know if Mark Krikorian is right about this--but I hope he is:
...But what are the terms for their release? Do we parole them? As I understand it, when you release POWs on parole, they promise not to take up arms again, and if they do, they can and should be executed. I'm happy to be corrected on this, but wouldn't it be reasonable to require such an agreement of any detainees we send back to their homes? Then, if we catch them up to their old tricks, there's less ambiguity about how to treat them.
That would not apply in Israel, though.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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