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Pentagon: Former Guantanamo Prisoners are Fighting U.S. Troops in Afghanistan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The front gate of Camp Delta is shown at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba September 4, 2007. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Washington-Republican Party officials have complained at the Congress, holding U.S. President Barack Obama responsible for the return of several former Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Afghanistan to fight U.S. troops there.

The Republicans said this is evidence that Obama should not have set free inmates whom he expected to return to Afghanistan to fight Americans.

They criticized Obama for keeping the issue classified.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, a vocal opponent of Obama’s Guantanamo policy, said: “There appears to be a consistent and concerted effort by the Administration to prevent Americans from knowing the truth regarding the terrorist activities and affiliations of past and present Guantanamo detainees.”

Rep. Edward R. Royce, R-California, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has also written legislation that would require greater transparency surrounding the transfer of Guantanamo detainees.

“The administration is releasing dangerous terrorists to countries that can’t control them, and misleading Congress in the process,” Royce said in a statement. “The president should halt detainee transfers immediately and be honest with the American people.”

The Pentagon declined on Thursday to elaborate publicly on the issue.

According to the Washington Times, Obama’s administration believes that about 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans.

Paul Lewis, who oversees Guantanamo issues at the Defense Department, made a startling admission to lawmakers last March when he acknowledged that former Guantanamo inmates were responsible for the deaths of Americans overseas.

He said that U.S. troops in Afghanistan have confronted and killed several of the previous prisoners. He did not give further details.

National Security Council spokesman Myles Caggins said it was difficult to discuss specific cases in detail because the information was classified.

“But, again, we are committed to being forthcoming with the American people about our safe and responsible approach to Guantanamo detainee transfers, including about possible detainee re-engagement in terrorist activities,” he said.