11 Freed From Gitmo Disappear Into Terror Network

Saudi Arabia admits former detainees may be with al-Qaeda
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 4:49 AM CST
A detainee is escorted by US military guards to be interrogated at the detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
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(Newser) – Eleven Saudi nationals who were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay have likely rejoined terrorist groups, the Saudi government said yesterday. The prisoners participated in a rehabilitation program after returning to Saudi Arabia, but all of them have fled the country—probably to Yemen or Iran. The situation underscores President Obama's difficult task in closing Guantanamo and complicates the question of what to do with the remaining detainees, reports the New York Times.

Until yesterday, the Saudi rehabilitation program for Gitmo detainees had been widely praised. It had been proposed as a model for Yemen, home of about half of the remaining Guantanamo detainees, where a weak government and tribal culture have made counter-terrorism efforts difficult. The Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda has recently merged with the Saudi branch, and has threatened terrorist actions in the Middle East and Africa.