Information about former Guantanamo Bay detainees who returned to militancy is very slowly leaking out—and it will give ammunition to those fighting to keep the detention center open. Sources tell the Washington Post that around 12 released Gitmo prisoners—all of them freed during the George W. Bush administration—have been involved in attacks in Afghanistan that killed six or so Americans, including a female civilian aid worker killed in 2008, as well as military personnel. But because "many of these incidents were large-scale firefights in a war zone, we cannot always distinguish whether Americans were killed by the former detainees or by others in the same fight," says one official, who believes fewer than 15 freed detainees were involved and at least nine of them are now dead or in custody.
Details like the names of the detainees and victims remained highly classified, though they have been provided to lawmakers, including GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who accuses the administration of running a "consistent and concerted effort" to "prevent Americans from knowing the truth regarding the terrorist activities and affiliations of past and present Guantanamo detainees." But the administration will discuss statistics: Officials say 21% of those released before 2009 have returned to militant activity, compared to 4.5% of those released since, which they say compares favorably to re-offending rates among former federal prisoners. The AP reports that the Obama administration, which is running out of time to shift the remaining 80 or so detainees and close the detention center, is looking into its options, including sending some inmates to other countries for prosecution. (Read more Guantanamo Bay stories.)