Donald Trump resumes his attacks on Barack Obama and mistakenly accuses him of ordering release of 122 Guantanamo terrorists
Harriet Alexander,The Telegraph Tue, Mar 7 6:28 AM PST
President Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of “another terrible decision” to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, in a tweet in which he wrongly quoted official figures.
Mr Trump said on Tuesday morning that 122 “vicious” Guantanamo inmates had returned to the battlefield, “released by the Obama administration”.
The Guantanamo statistics Mr Trump cited come from a September report by the Director of National Intelligence.
The report did find that 122 of the 693 prisoners transferred out of the Cuban camp had returned to terrorist activities.
However, 113 of them were released by George W Bush.
Of the 122, 30 have been killed and 25 captured. The DNI says 67 remain at large.
On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that a former Guantanamo inmate had been killed by an air strike in Yemen.
Yasir al-Silmi, who was held at Guantanamo from 2002 to 2009, was killed on Thursday. He was repatriated by Mr Obama in December 2009. Transfers to Yemen have since been banned because of the turmoil in the country.
Mr Trump has promised to chart a radically different course on Guantanamo to his predecessor.
He signed an executive order on January 22, 2009 to shut the camp, but Congress repeatedly blocked his efforts. He did manage to reduce the population, and fewer than 100 detainees remained at the base when he left office.
By contrast, Mr Trump has promised to keep Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility open and stop the release of detainees from it.
At one point, the president promised to “load it up with some bad dudes.”
Draft executive orders have circulated that would allow any captured Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters to be sent there, but no order has been signed yet.