US President Donald Trump’s punch at former President Barack Obama’s Guantanamo Bay policy has resulted in US officials losing track of where ex-Gitmo prisoners are around the globe, according to a newly published investigation.
In an attempt to reverse the course pioneered by Obama, who was derided by critics for failing to close the prison camp, Trump closed the office of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure as part of a purging of personnel at the State Department, according to a McClatchy report published Monday.
Now, ex-prisoners who were being tracked by the office are unaccounted for, the report said.
One place US officials are most worried about ex-prisoners going is Syria. A Capitol Hill staffer working for the House Foreign Affairs Committee told McClatchy on the condition of anonymity that Syria was “the worst place for any [former detainee] to turn up.” The US maintains a military force of 2,000 personnel in Syria, according to Defense Department spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson, as cited by McClatchy. Critics say the US military presence there is illegal, since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did not formally extend an invitation to the US.
Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian who had been captured and detained at Gitmo, disappeared from Uruguay last summer. Dhiab has flown from Uruguay to south central Turkey and visited the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib, which is controlled by al-Nusra Front, a Syrian…