Not only is Guantanamo Bay going to continue on as the U.S.'s offshore indefinite-detention facility in the war on terrorism, but it's expanding -- at least by one.
As Paul flagged
in the Must Read, President Bush's war cabinet was scheduled to debate shuttering Guantanamo Bay this morning at the White House, but once word of the meeting leaked to the Associated Press, administration hardliners scratched Guantanamo from the agenda. And as if to underscore the surprising resilience of the island prison, this morning, the Defense Department announced
that Haroon al-Afghani, an Afghan who has "admitted to serving as a courier for al-Qaeda Senior Leadership (AQSL)," will be Guantanamo's newest addition:
There is significant information available that Haroon al-Afghani is a senior commander of Hezb-e-Islami/Gulbuddin (HIG), a declared hostile terrorist group associated with AQ in Afghanistan and commanded multiple HIG terrorist cells that conducted improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Nangarhar Province. He is assessed to have had regular contact with senior AQ and HIG leadership.
Since 2005, the number of detainees sent to Guantanamo Bay has slowed to a trickle. The largest recent addition came in September, when 14 "high-value" detainees transfered from CIA custody to the island facility. These days, detainees are more likely to be sent from Guantanamo to prisons in their home countries. As a result, the announcement of al-Afghani's arrival makes for some interesting timing.