Concern Over Release of Detainees to Uruguay Too

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the anniversary of the release of the “Taliban 5” terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.  On June 1st, the one-year travel ban on these individuals contained in the “memorandum of understanding” with Qatar expires.

“This release was a complete overreach by the White House, ignoring U.S. law.  Already over the past year, it’s been reported that the flimsy ‘security assurances’ in Qatar have been violated, jeopardizing our security.  In a few days, these assurances disappear and Taliban leaders will be free to return to the battlefield, putting U.S. security interests and Americans at risk.

“The White House’s race to empty Guantanamo continues.  In December, six detainees were released by the Administration to Uruguay with dubious assurances that they had never been involved in conducting or facilitating terrorist attacks.  Now living blocks from our U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, these dangerous detainees are free to travel throughout the region.  Uruguay is the latest example of this Administration’s failure to properly weigh and respond to the threat posed by former detainees.   

“The President’s view that Guantanamo drives the terrorist threat is a fundamental misread of terrorist motivations – one that jeopardizes the safety and security of the United States and our allies.”

Note:  On April 29, Chairman Royce wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to express his deep and growing concern about the December 2014 release and transfer of six detainees from Guantanamo to Uruguay.  The letter is available HERE.