Written by Jim Kouri - COPMagazine
In the midst of a busy news cycle, President Barack Obama and his minions "pulled a fast one" on the American people. The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed that two Algerian detainees, Hasan Zemiri and Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili, have been transferred from that controversial detention facility to the custody and control of the Algerian government.
As directed by the President's January 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including the potential threat posed by each individual and the receiving country's demonstrated capabilities to mitigate potential threats posed by the individuals in their home country, each detainee was approved for transfer.
Hasan Zemiri , 42, was a Montreal friend of avowed terrorist Ahmed Ressam and a co-conspirator of the Los Angeles Millennium plot during the Clinton Administration. Hasan Zemiri reportedly equipped Ahmed Ressam with a camera and gave him more than $3,000 in order to assist Ressam in his planned attack on the Los Angeles Airport (LAX). (While President Clinton took credit for thwarting the attack, it was a federal agent who apprehended Ressam before he achieved his deadly goal.)
Zemri was already arrested once at Niagara Falls in 1998 but was released on bail and eventually made his way to Afghanistan after the plot failed. Hasan Zemiri was again arrested in December 2001 in Tora Bora, Afghanistan where he served as a warfighter for al-Qaeda. He was subsequently transferred to Gitmo.
Thirty-four year old Adil Hadi al-Jazairi Bin Hamlili is a former member of the Algeiran Armed Islamic Group and the former personal representative of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan . Adil Hadi al-Jazairi Bin Hamlili was captured in Pakistan in June 2003 and handed over to U.S. officials through the Extraordinary Rendition program.
The current Gitmo-to-Algeria transfers were approved by unanimous consent among all the agencies involved in the review -- including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the Departments of Defense, State, Justice and Homeland Security.
However, according to a declassified Pentagon report, one in five terror suspects released from the Guantanamo Bay prison has returned to fight against the United States or other nations opposed to terrorist groups. But, the White House and its news media allies continue to downplay the report in order to avoid an expected fierce backlash against President Barack Obama's plan to close the military prison.
The finding reflects an upward trend on the recidivism rate, although human rights activists who advocate closing the prison have questioned the validity of such numbers.
Early last year, the Defense Department claimed that the rate of released detainees returning to terrorism was 11 percent. In April, it rose to 14 percent. This latest figure of 20 percent is not favorable for a White House already suspected of being weak on national security.
"In my mind, Gitmo remains the proper place for locking up terrorists, especially those who may not be able to be detained as securely in a Muslim country," said terrorism expert, former New York City cop and intelligence officer Michael Snopes.
Snopes points to a report regarding two Saudis released from Guantanamo Bay, one in 2006 and the other in 2007, who likely are involved al-Qaeda's activities in Yemen.
However, proponents say the Obama Administration and Defense Department acted in accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements: the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these detainees at least 15 days before their transfer. These transfers were carried out under an arrangement between the United States and the Government of Algeria.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.