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Freed Detainee Now Taliban Surge Chief

From a deeply satisfied Associated Press:

Officials: Taliban ops chief once held at Gitmo

By Pamela Hess, Associated Press Writer – Wed Mar 11

WASHINGTON – Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007.

He is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a nom de guerre that Pentagon and intelligence officials say is used by a Taliban leader who is in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan

The officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to release the information, said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields.

Pentagon and intelligence officials said Rasoul has emerged as a key militant figure in southern Afghanistan, where violence has been spiking in the last year. Thousands of U.S. troops are preparing to deploy there to fight resurgent Taliban forces.

One intelligence official told the Associated Press that Rasoul’s stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge

According to the Pentagon, at least 18 former Guantanamo detainees have "returned to the fight" and 43 others are suspected of resuming terrorist activities

According to case documents assembled by the U.S. military for a 2005 review of Rasoul’s combatant status at Guantanamo, the Afghan was captured in 2001 in Konduz.

Armed with a gun and sitting in the car of an alleged Taliban leader, Rasoul insisted to American authorities he was forced to carry the gun by the Taliban. Rasoul told the tribunal in 2005 that in fact he had surrendered with other Taliban members to the Northern Alliance in Konduz on Dec. 12, 2001.

The Northern Alliance was involved in a protracted civil war with the Taliban, and was allied with U.S. forces in the October 2001 invasion.

Rasoul told the tribunal that he and others were then handed over to the Americans for bounties.

According to the U.S. documents, Rasoul was conscripted into the Taliban in 1995, and was seriously wounded in a bombing in 1997. He returned to the Taliban in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan in 1999.

Rasoul, who hailed from Helmand province in southern Afghanistan — a Taliban stronghold — never attended a Taliban or al-Qaida training camp. A key piece of evidence against him was that he was captured with two Casio watches similar to those used in al-Qaida bombings. He said he was holding the watches for a Taliban member who lacked pockets.

He told the tribunal that he intended to return to a peaceful life in Afghanistan.

"I want to go back home and join my family and work in my land and help my family," he said, according to a U.S. military transcript of the hearing…

In the rush of events we almost let this one pass, since it has obviously become the accepted practice now.

"I want to go back home and join my family and work in my land and help my family” …

And so he has.

Why does our media feign surprise?

(Thanks to Canary for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 12th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Freed Detainee Now Taliban Surge Chief”

  1. BillK says:

    But see, if they hadn’t been held at Gitmo they wouldn’t have been so turned against the US as to go back and fight!

    At least that will be the left’s take on this item.

  2. proreason says:

    This illustrates the problem with incarceration. You lock em up, and they come out even worse than before.

    More capital punishment is the answer. Also very stimulative to the economy.

  3. caligirl9 says:

    I take it this guy didn’t learn his lessons at the 12-step Taliban rehab program?

    “Hi, my name is Abdullah Mullah, and I’m a Taliban.”

  4. Right of the People says:

    The only reform that works with these jihadis is “reforming” their brains with a .45. Kill them all, let Allah sort them out.


  5. Reality Bytes says:

    Maybe we could spare the terrorist population like we do game. We could have “Terrorist Season” – pick sometime like say May when it’s not too hot but warm enough for them to crawl out of their cave and WHAM!!! “Got him right between the eyes from my UAV. Yup, that’s him right there – had him stuffed and mounted. The kids like him but he kind of spooks the wife.

    Come to think of it, all you’d need is a small government payout for each “pelt” & there wouldn’t be a terrorist left in six months. “Flight from Dallas/Fort Worth now arriving at Kabul International gate 86…

  6. pdsand says:

    I just want to go home and organize in my community…

  7. jrmcdonald says:

    Mr. President, is this and ‘Enemy Combatant?’

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