WASHINGTON - The Director of National Intelligence said Monday that far fewer detainees released from Guantanamo Bay rejoined terrorist activities than previously reported.
In a new report, the intelligence office says just under 16 per cent of detainees released — 95 out of 600 — were confirmed to re-offend. Some 12 per cent more — about 72 detainees — are suspected of having rejoined terror groups, and are being watched. It is the first time the intelligence community provided that level of detail, says Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale.
A Republican congressional report in February added those two figures together, coming up with a much more dramatic rate of 27 per cent of the roughly 600 detainees released returning to the battlefield.
The Republicans on a House Armed Services subcommittee cited Pentagon figures, because that was what was available at the time, Breasseale said.
This new report says that while the Pentagon has found what it considers clear proof that some detainees reunited with al-Qaida or other terror groups, an almost equal number are on a de factor watch list, their behaviour and who the associate with being tracked at almost all times. Breasseale would not say how the detainees are being monitored.
The intelligence report does warn that detainees released to countries that are unstable are more likely to re-offend, an apparent reference to those released in Yemen. It also warns that if additional detainees out of the 171 left are released "without conditions...some will re-engage in terrorist or insurgent activity." The report does not go into what conditions are needed to keep a watch on the suspects or on a statistical basis how likely the detainees are to re-offend.