US official: Following circular of Gitmo transfers begins this weekend

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 2:25 AM

S. official told Fox News. In January, the Pentagon conducted a bulk transfer of ten detainees at once, the largest transfer from the U.

US official: Following circular of Gitmo transfers begins this weekend

The following circular of Gitmo transfers will start this weekend with two detainees going an undisclosed country in Africa, a U. S. official told Fox News.

In January, the Pentagon conducted a bulk transfer of ten detainees at once, the largest transfer from the U. S. Naval Sta at Guantanamo, Cuba to date.

This following transfer of Gitmo detainees can't happen all at once because the Pentagon is required by law to inform Congress thirty-days before any transfers.

Capitol Hill sources tell Fox News that period hasn't elapsed yet for all the transfers.

The first notification went to Congress in early March and the second one in the center of this month.

The first transfer of two detainees will start this weekend, and the rest are expected in the center of next month.

All told, the no of detainees in these following two rounds will be about a dozen.

There are ninety-one detainees remaining at Gitmo. Thirty-five have been cleared to transfer to other countries.

A Pentagon spokesman wouldn't confirm the transfer of any Gitmo detainees beginning this weekend.

“I don't have a timeline on when specific detainees will be transferred from Guantanamo. However, the Administration is committed to reducing the detainee pop and to closing the detention facility responsibly,” Cmdr. Gary Ross, a defense dept spokesman, told Fox News.

In the past, the Pentagon only confirmed detainee transfers once they're completed. The detainees fly in US military aircraft to their third-party nation.

In a startling revelation, days ago the Pentagon'south point man for Gitmo said that some of the detainees transferred from the prison have in fact re-joined the fight and worse.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., asked Paul Lewis, the defense department’s messenger for the prison many lives have been lost after detainees had been transferred.

“Unfortunately, there have been Americans that have died because of GITMO detainees,” said Lewis.

The Pentagon a brief time later issued a statement saying that only five % of detainees who have been released have returned to the battlefield during the Obama administration. Pentagon executive don't believe those detainees are among those who have killed Americans.

In January, the Defense Dept released new statistics saying the no of former Gitmo detainees suspected of re-engaging in terrorism doubled from six to 12.

Senator McCain refuted the administration’s statistics. He believes more released Gitmo detainees return to the battlefield putting more American lives at risk.

“We know for a fact that roughly thirty percent of those who have been released have re-entered the fight, and generally at a very high level, because it'south a badge of honor to have been an inmate at Guantanamo Bay," McCain said.

Latest mo the Pentagon submitted a map to transfer those detainees not eligible for transfer overseas to go to American prisons in Colorado, KS or S Carolina. The map was immediately rejected by Congress who passed a law forbidding the transfer of any Gitmo detainees to the United States.

Late latest month, flanked by his defense secretary and vice president, President Obama vowed once again to near the prison.

“It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of regulation of law,” Mr. Obama said. “This is about closing a chapter in our history.”

The president’s critics in Congress point out that in addition to keeping terrorists from returning to the fight, they also demand a map for handling ISIS detainees, presently that a 200-man special operations task force fighting ISIS and recently killed the group’s second in command last week.

The U. S. military has number plans to keep captured Islamic State operatives for more than a mo before turning them over to the Iraqi government, a spokesman for the U. S.-led coalition based in Baghdad told reporters recently.

“Fourteen to 30 days is a ballpark figure, but even that's not really totally nailed down,” said Col. Steve Warren, a U. S. military spokesman based in Baghdad. “There isn’t a tough definition of short-term.”

Earlier this month, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook also made clear that the policy for holding operatives is, at best, evolving. He said they'd be handled on a “case-by-case” basis over a “short-term” period.

The lack of a well-defined policy for handling captured ISIS terrorists is in turn raising concerns on Capitol Hill.

“The law requires a comprehensive detainee policy,” a congressional aide said. “By definition, ‘we’ll figure it out if we ever capture anyone’ isn't a comprehensive policy. “

Warren said that two airstrikes against ISIS chemical weapons facilities were conducted following a recent mission carried out by a US special ops assault force capturing an ISIS operative linked to its chemical weapons program.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Dept producer for Fox News Channel. You can chase him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

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