Ibrahim al Qosi, the 55 year old former body guard to Osama bin Laden that was released from Guantanamo bay in 2012 after 20 years of imprisonment has now been showing up in propaganda videos for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry gave testimony in front of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Mark Kirk then asked him a series of questions regarding Guantanamo and Ibrahim al Qosi.
As a background, according to the New York Times, as early as 2007 Qosi was listed as a “HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies.” Here is a summary of bin Laden’s right hand man according to the Long War Journal:
In 1990, Qosi met two al Qaeda members who recruited him for jihad in Afghanistan.
Qosi was then trained at al Qaeda’s al Farouq camp, which was the terror group’s primary training facility in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. In 1991, Osama bin Laden relocated to Sudan and Qosi followed. He worked as an accountant and treasurer for bin Laden’s front companies, a role he would continue to fill after al Qaeda moved back to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the mid-1990s.
JTF-GTMO found that after an attempt on bin Laden’s life in 1994, Qosi was chosen to be a member of the al Qaeda founder’s elite security detail. He was also picked to perform sensitive missions around that time.
Once in Sudan, Qosi was said by US attorney Paul Reichler, to have taken a job as a taxi driver and committed to a life of ‘peace, quiet, and freedom.’ Well, it looks like that softer lifestyle didn’t last long.
Since December, Qosi has appeared in 4 videos for the terror group, one of which denounces a mass execution of suspected terrorists in Saudi Arabia. However, what is most concerning is how Qosi even got into a position where he could be featured in one of these videos.
Sen. Mark Kirk sought to answer this question and here is what he asked the Secretary:
“Let me just ask one question. I want to show you a picture of Ibrahim al Qosi, who was recently released by the administration to the Sudanese, and he appeared on some al Qaeda videos recruiting people for AQAP.
Now that he’s out, I would hope we would end the policy of issuing terrorists to terrorist nations, and where they can get out.”
The point Kirk is trying to make is, why do we keep trusting other countries to keep and eye on these dangerous men when they have proven in the past to be ineffective. Additionally, why not keep them in a place where we can ensure neither will happen.
Kerry’s answer was equivalent to the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoji. Check it out:
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