Republicans seek to block Gitmo releases.
Yemen’s al-Qaida branch has officially claimed responsibility for last week’s terror attacks against satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. In two separate videos, one taken the day of the attack and another, longer message from the top al-Qaida commander in the Arabian Peninsula, the group takes responsibility for the attacks and warns of more “tragedy and terror.”
Fox explains what was revealed in the videos:
An eyewitness heard the gunmen say in French, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad!” as they fled the newspaper office, while another witness claimed the gunmen addressed him before fleeing, saying, “Tell them this was Al Qaeda in Yemen.”
In the video, al-Ansi describes the Kouachi brothers as “heroes” and congratulates them for “this revenge that has soothed our pain.”
“Congratulations to you for these brave men who blew off the dust of disgrace and lit the torch of glory in the darkness of defeat and agony,” an-Ansi added.
In the video, al-Ansi made no claim to the subsequent Paris attack on a kosher grocery store, during which a friend of Kouachis, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a French policewoman Thursday and four hostages on Friday.
Yesterday, Republican Senators answered the terror threat at home and abroad by introducing legislation that would block President Obama from fulfilling his promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. If passed, the bill would impose a 2 year moratorium on the transfer of medium- or high-risk detainees to the United States, and would also ban transfers back to Yemen, which is home to many of the remaining Gitmo detainees.
The closure of Gitmo is a divisive issue even for a newly-minted GOP majority. Although the bill was introduced by senators on both sides of the issue, even its sponsors have differing ideas about the future of Gitmo:
At a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Ayotte argued the administration’s increased clip of transfers was dangerous because it could allow detainees to re-enter the terrorism fight, citing the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
“It’s one thing to make a campaign promise,” she said, “but if you look at the security situation that we’re facing around the world right now, now is not the time to be emptying Guantánamo with no plan for how and where these individuals are going to go, no assurances of security of those who have been released.”
Graham called the bill a “timeout” on transfers that’s needed because of the terrorism threat that’s persisting across the globe.
Not all of the Republicans at Tuesday’s news conference have the same views on Guantánamo — and McCain, the new chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who has backed closing the prison, is seen as Obama’s best potential Republican ally on the issue.
Still, the Arizona senator slammed the administration for failing to present a plan to close Guantánamo and move the detainees who are too dangerous to be released, throwing his support behind the bill that would tie Obama’s hands on Guantánamo.
“This administration never presented to the Congress of the United States a concrete or coherent plan” on how to handle the detainee issue, McCain said.
Given the fact that the White House is still furiously backpedaling on the promise to close Gitmo by the end of Obama’s term, this type of legislation is key to keeping the issue in the news while at the same time fighting the media spin with an actual solution to the current problem of a very active Yemeni terror cell.
The bill will make closure difficult, but not impossible; if passed, it will make it much more difficult for suspected terrorists to make it back to their home cells and inflict the sort of violence that ripped through Paris last week.DONATE
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