Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is today introducing the Keep Terrorists Off the Battlefield Act, legislation that would ban the Obama Administration from setting terrorists free from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), and closing the facility.
According to the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), nine detainees freed from Guantanamo by President Obama and have rejoined terrorist groups. Another 11 are suspected of returning to the battlefield. The Bush Administration released 113 detainees that returned to the fight.
“The safety and security of the American people should come first, before any of President Obama’s naïve and unrealistic campaign promises,” said Rubio. “We know about 30 percent of the terrorists set free from Gitmo have returned to the fight with the goal of killing more Americans, including our men and women in uniform. We also know the detainees still at Gitmo are considered the worst of the worst, and yet the Administration and its misguided allies in Congress want to give them the opportunity to join groups like ISIS and al Qaeda. My bill would end this Administration’s unilateral, reckless policy that is endangering American lives, and make sure we keep radical Islamic terrorists right where they belong: off the battlefield and off U.S. soil.”
Rubio’s bill would stop President Obama from potentially exploiting loopholes in current law and bringing terrorists to U.S. soil by transferring custody of detainees from the Department of Defense to another federal department or agency. The bill would also prohibit the transfer of detainees to any country in the Western Hemisphere and any country that does not have adequate counterterrorism laws, and save taxpayer dollars by forbidding funding for Obama Administration personnel and efforts to close GTMO. The bill also states it is the sense of the Congress that former Gitmo detainees who have returned to the battlefield should be recaptured and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.