Fox News is having a field day with reports that a Saudi man who was released from Guantánamo Bay after a six-year stint has joined al-Qaeda‘s branch in Yemen and is now said to be the terror network’s number-two in the country. The announcement, made this week on an Islamist militant website, comes as President Barack Obama ordered the detention facility closed within a year.
The Yemen franchise—known as “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”—said the man, identified as Said Ali al-Shihri, returned to his home in Saudi Arabia after his release from Gitmo about a year ago and from there went to Yemen. The Internet statement, which could not immediately be verified, said al-Shihri was the group’s second-in-command in Yemen and his prisoner number at Guantánamo was 372. “He managed to leave the land of the two shrines [Saudi Arabia] and join his brothers in al-Qaeda,” the statement said.
US Defense Department department show that al-Shihri was stopped at a Pakistani border crossing in December 2001 with injuries from an air-strike and recuperated at a hospital in Quetta for a month and a half before being transfered to Guantánamo. He was released in November 2007 and deported to his homeland. The documents confirm his prisoner number was 372. “The lesson here is, whoever receives former Guantánamo detainees needs to keep a close eye on them,” an unnamed US official told the New York Times.
Reports failed to note that Morocco has also convicted an ex-Gitmo detainee on terrorism charges. But World War 4 Report asks: Is it surprising that someone who spent six years at Guantánamo Bay should perhaps be a wee bit teed off at the USA?