Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) released the below statement in response to the State Department naming former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ayrat Vakhitov as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Last week, VOA reported that Vakhitov – who was released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to Russia – is among 30 individuals being held by Turkish authorities in connection to the recent terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

“It’s time for the president to halt all releases, and fundamentally reassess his plan to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.  Dangerous jihadists are being released to countries with little intention of controlling them.  And once again, it appears the results have been disastrous.  

“How many more innocent people have to die before the administration wakes up?”

NOTE: According to the administration’s own statistics, more than one-third of the detainees that have been released from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay are confirmed or suspected to have reengaged in terrorism.  At a full committee hearing last week, the Obama administration confirmed that one former al-Qaeda operative released to Uruguay in December of 2014 has disappeared.