Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo said Monday that he opposed President Obama’s move to transfer nine detainees from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia.
The move, announced this weekend, could endanger Americans, the Republican said.
Pompeo, who is flirting with a bid for the U.S. Senate this year, said that included among the nine were Ahmed Yaslam Said Kuman, an Al-Qaeda member who fought on the frontlines against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and Ahmed Umar Abdulla Al-Hikimi, another member of Al-Qaeda and one of Osama Bin Laden’s personal bodyguards.
Pompeo has emerged as a leading voice against the administration’s plans to close Guantanamo and possibly move the remaining prisoners to Fort Leavenworth. Mainland sites in Colorado and South Carolina also are under consideration.
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“The terrorists who remain at GTMO are committed jihadists who, as history has shown, will likely return to terrorism,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We know that previously released detainees have returned to jihad and killed Americans. The risk of these nine men doing the same is far too high and the president should cease his effort to empty out the detention facility.
“Worse yet, the president has made clear that in order to accomplish his goal of closing GTMO, he is willing to bring violent jihadists too dangerous to transfer abroad to America—and even to Kansas. I will continue to fight to ensure that does not happen.”