After weeks on the lam, former al-Qaeda operative Jihad Diyab was reportedly arrested in Venezuela late last week.

According to a Uruguayan newspaper, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee – released to Uruguay along with five other terrorists in 2014 – had a refugee passport card and was seeking to travel to Turkey.  Last month, administration officials told CNN they believed Diyab ultimately wanted to get to Syria or Yemen.

Here are four questions the Obama administration needs to answer:

  1. How will Jihad Diyab be secured?
    According to the administration’s own statistics, more than a third of former Gitmo detainees have returned to terrorism.  And as a result, Americans have died.  That’s why it was absurd that the Obama administration released Diyab to Uruguay as a “refugee” – enabling him to slip out of Uruguay and attempt to return to terrorist hotspots in the Middle East.Now that he has been found, Diyab must be secured along with the other five terrorists released to Uruguay.
  2. What is the administration going to do to make sure other detainees – in Uruguay and elsewhere – don’t go missing?
    Because of misleading assurances the Obama administration made (on paper!), Uruguay agreed to accept these terrorists as refugees.  This means that – under Uruguayan law – officials are prohibited from monitoring the former detainees or imposing travel restrictions on them.The administration needs to be honest about the threats posed by former detainees.  These are hardened fighters who’ve been trained as suicide bombers and document forgers.  Measures must be taken to ensure they don’t go missing again.
  3. Will the Obama administration commit to greater transparency around the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees?
    The Obama administration routinely uses classified notices to shield information about detainee releases from public scrutiny.  As a result, the American people are often the last to learn when these dangerous terrorists are released.  This needs to change.Congress should have an opportunity to review the transfer agreements that are supposed to ensure foreign countries help keep former detainees from returning to terrorism.  And Americans deserve to know who the administration plans to release next and where they are going.
  4. Will the administration continue to release terrorists to countries it knows are ill-equipped to keep them from returning to terrorism?
    Afghanistan is an active war zone.  Ghana has even fewer security resources than Uruguay.  The Balkan region has been an ISIS recruiting hotspot.  Yet the administration has released detainees to all of these places.That’s why Chairman Royce is calling on the administration to halt future transfers and start heeding its own security assessments before releasing terrorists to countries that are unable to handle them.