Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced H.R. 4580, the Terrorist Release Transparency Act, to ensure the American people and our foreign partners have access to critical details before terrorists are released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The legislation, introduced the day the Obama administration submitted a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, seeks to put a stop to the administration’s routine and unrequired use of classified notices to shield information about transfers from public scrutiny.

“The detainees who remain at the prison today are among the most hardened and highly trained terrorists, committed to killing Americans,” said Chairman Royce.  “Releasing them or transferring them to U.S. soil will not make us safer.  That’s why bipartisan majorities in Congress have acted year after year to bar the administration from bringing these dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil.  And that’s why we must also take steps to bring much-needed transparency to the process in which detainees are freed to foreign nations.

“Just today, news reports indicate that one former Guantanamo Bay detainee has been arrested, along with a jihadi cell, by Spanish and Moroccan authorities.  Spanish authorities described this individual ‘as a leader who was trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics.’  This is not an isolated case.  According to the Obama administration’s own figures, more than 30 percent of detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay have returned to terrorist activities.

“Many countries being pushed by this administration to accept Guantanamo Bay detainees have limited ability or intent to stop these terrorists from returning to the battlefield.  Alarmingly, more than a year later, we still don’t have the full story about how six hardened al-Qaeda fighters were released to Uruguay – and allowed to live just blocks from our embassy – with no real plans to monitor or restrict their activities.

“This legislation will bring much-needed public scrutiny to the administration’s mad rush to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo Bay before President Obama leaves office.  It will require the Department of State to provide an unclassified notice so that the American people and our foreign partners know who the administration is releasing and when and where they are going.  We must ensure that a candidate’s campaign promise does not continue to recklessly put the American people, and our foreign partners, in harm’s way.”

NOTE:  Text of the legislation is available HERE and a one-page summary is available HERE.