Held since 2002, Ibrahim al-Rubaish was released in 2006 to a rehabilitation camp in Saudi Arabia, but has now become a leading Al Qaeda, ISIS operative
The United States are offering a reward of up to 5 million dollars for a Muslim terror leader released from the Guantanamo Bay military prison camp in 2006. Ibrahim al-Rubaish was sent to a Saudi 'rehabilitation' program, from where he later escaped and rejoined al-Qaeda in Yemen. He has reportedly sent at least 2,500 jihadis from Saudi Arabia and some from Yemen to join the self-proclaimed 'Islamic State' army in Syria and Iraq, according to a highly placed Pentagon source. There's no doubt that he's sending fighters, the Department of Defense said. Twenty-five hundred is a conservative estimate.
Ibrahim al-Rubaish was let go from Gitmo in 2006 along with 16 other prisoners and quickly returned to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – becoming its Mufti, or spiritual leader – and he's now recruiting for ISIS. Some of these recruits are said to be traveling with their young sons, who are then educated in madrassa-style military academies.
An undisclosed reliable source told Britain's Daily Mail that he manages to motivate a lot of Saudis too, even though he's persona non grata in the KSA, he said, referring to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A second confidential source said some Guantanamo detainees spend time behind razor wire building networks and strategic connections that become useful once the United States government repatriates them.
Ibrahim Al Rubaysh arrived at Guantanamo in 2002 and was transferred in 2006, wrote Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a U.S. Army spokesman. Since 2009, the Defense Department and five government departments and agencies conduct thorough security and intelligence reviews prior to transferring Guantanamo detainees; more than 90 percent of detainees transferred during the Obama administration have resumed quiet lives in various countries, he explained.
The Saudi government includes al-Rubaish on its list of most wanted terrorists, and the United States is offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to his capture. In 2009 the Jamestown Foundation, a terror-tracking think tank, identified him as AQAP's 'Mufti,' or chief religious authority in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Al-Rubaish also has a college degree in Islamic shariah law.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Al-Rubaish called for open holy war against Americans in 2013, saying: 'It is my duty to spur the Muslims to kill the Americans, to get them out of the Muslims' land.'
ISIS can muster up to 31,500 fighters, the Central Intelligence Agency reported in October. If that number is correct, al-Rubaish is responsible for mobilizing at least one out of every 13 ISIS fighters. But Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, said a month later that the CIA and other intelligence agencies dramatically underestimated the total.
Former President George W. Bush was under pressure in 2006 to release prisoners from Guantanamo, and did so a year after Vice President Dick Cheney warned against it. President Barack Obama's most controversial Guantanamo releases were five top Taliban fighters whom he traded for the safe return of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May. Even then he acknowledged that that decision could come back to haunt the United States. 'Is there the possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely,' he acknowledged three days later during a press conference in Poland.
'That's been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo,' Obama said. 'There's a certain recidivism rate that takes place.'
The Pentagon insists that it continues to take precautions before releasing prisoners.
The Obama administration is scrambling to track down al-Rubaish, whose Arabic name is spelled several different ways in English. The Pentagon insists that it continues to take precautions before releasing prisoners.
Judicial Watch, a center-right research organization known for collecting documents via Freedom of Information Act requests, first publicised on Monday that the U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million bounty for al-Rubaish. Tom Fitton, the group's president, said Tuesday that the AQAP Mufti stood as a dramatic illustration of the danger of releasing these terrorists.
The recidivism rate is dangerously high, and to release terrorists in the middle of ongoing wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East, is reckless, he said. He added that the Saudi program into which al-Rubaish was released had a recidivism rate of about 20 per cent.
Uruguay's President José Mujica showed on December 17 a document from the United States assuring him that the six Guantanamo detainees who arrived in Montevideo on December 8 were not dangerous. In fact, three of them have reportedly found jobs as builders and will start in January. They are also taking Spanish lessons to adapt to their new life in South America