One of Taliban terrorists traded for Bergdahl back in the terror game

From our voluminous "What the hell did you expect?" file comes news that one of the Taliban terrorists exchanged for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl has made contact with terrorists in Afghanistan and is apparently planning to rejoin the fight.

There is some parsing of words going on in the intelligence community about whether the terrorist is simply "suspected" of terrorist activity or whether it has been "confirmed" that he has backslid into terrorism.  In this, it's a question of a legal definition and not whether the terrorist has been in contact with former comrades.


This is the first known suggestion that any of the detainees involved in the exchange may be trying to engage again in militant activity. It comes at a politically sensitive time as the administration has quickened the pace of prisoner release in an effort to encourage the closure of the Guantanamo, and the Army must decide in the coming weeks whether and how to punish Bergdahl for leaving his post.

Several U.S. officials across different agencies and branches of the U.S. government have confirmed key details to CNN. The White House referred CNN to the Pentagon.

The officials would not say which of the five men is suspected. But an ongoing U.S. intelligence program to secretly intercept and monitor all of their communications in Qatar turned up evidence in recent months that one of them has "reached out" to try to encourage militant activity, one official said. The official would offer no further details.

Under current law, this act placed the man in the category of being "suspected" of re-engaging in terrorist or insurgent activities. However, several officials say there is now a debate inside the administration that the intelligence may be stronger than the "suspected" classification. Some elements of the intelligence community believe the information is strong enough to classify the man as "confirmed" for returning to illegal activities. All five men are having their communications even more closely monitored right now, but the belief is there is no current threat, one official told CNN.

How pathetic is this?

Kirby said Hagel was well-aware of the potential danger the five men posed.

"He believes that the risk has been substantially mitigated through the assurances that we received through the Emir of Qatar," Kirby said at the time of the release. "I would remind you that these are assurances that the emir personally gave to the President of the United States. I'm not going to go into every detail on these assurances, but -- but the secretary is comfortable that the risk is mitigated through these assurances."

I'm just bubbling over with confidence that because that shifty emir gave his "personal assurance" that the terrorists we let go would not be any more trouble, this should be good enough for us and we can relax.


This brings up the issue of Guantánamo releases and just how careful we've been in making sure the people we are letting go won't rejoin the fight.  This little nugget at the end of the CNN report is interesting:

Congress receives a report every six months on the status of detainees transferred out of Gitmo. The latest report in September 2014, showed about 17% of detainees transferred out of Guantanamo Bay are confirmed by the U.S. to have returned to militant activity. About 12% are in the suspected category.

So 29% of former Gitmo detainees either have been confirmed or are suspected of returning to the jihad.  Isn't that close to 1 in 3?  That's a pretty good baseball average, but when it comes to protecting America from those we had in custody who are now a threat again, not too good.