Released Gitmo Detainee Goes Missing in Latin America

How Obama's dash to release terror suspects from Guantanamo threatens U.S. national security.

The Obama administration has played politics with virtually every issue, including issues that endanger national security and the safety and well-being of Americans.

Through the issuance of executive orders on immigration that make a mockery of our nation’s borders and immigration laws and that contradict commonsense and the recommendations of the 911 Commission millions of illegal aliens whose true identities cannot be determined now live in towns and cities across the United States.

Nearly every terror attack carried out in the United States has a connection to a failure of the immigration system.  Most of the terrorists who have been identified were admitted into the United States, proving that our immigration system lacks integrity.  But failures of the immigration system also include failures to physically secure our nation’s northern and southern borders.

Our borders have become little more than “speed bumps” to smugglers with record quantities of narcotics, including heroin, flowing freely into the United States, along with transnational criminals and gang members.

The immigration policy of “Catch and Release” that has turned hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have been convicted of committing serious crimes loose on towns and cities across the United States has been the focus of a series of Congressional hearings, yet nothing has convinced the administration to stop this lunacy.

Catch and Release is not, however, limited to the way that illegal aliens are apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are released, with the vast majority failing to appear for immigration hearings.  In order to keep his promise to close the U.S. facility at Guantanamo, Mr. Obama has ordered ordered terror suspects to be released from custody at Guantanamo.  Some have returned to the battlefield where they threaten innocent civilians as well as members of the armed forces of a number of nations including the United States.

It has been reported that 80 radical Islamist terrorists remain in custody in Guantanamo.  They must not be released from that important U.S. facility.

Undoubtedly many of these former detainees would love nothing better than make their way to the United States to launch deadly terror attacks inside our borders.  ISIS has made it clear that the United States is their prime target.

On July 5, 2016, Fox News reported, “Mystery surrounds whereabouts of former Gitmo detainee in South America.”

The detainee that the report refers to is Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian native.  In 2014 he was freed from custody and sent to Uruguay, a destination country for five other released detainees.  Now it has been disclosed that he has gone missing.  There are contradictory reports as to whether or not he may have entered Brazil legally, or illegally.

The latest reports indicate that he may have used a false passport – a threat noted by the 911 Commission that stated that in the hands of a terrorist a passport is a weapon.

What the news reports failed to discuss is the fact that the Tri-Border Region of Brazil, where Brazil borders on Argentina and Paraguay, is a hot-bed for radical Islamist terror groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and likely for al-Qaeda and ISIS.

This is not a new development.  The Federal Research Division of the United States Library of Congress prepared a report in July 2003 about this deadly part of the world that was updated in December 2010.  The title of that report is, “Terrorist And Organized Crime Groups In The Tri-Border Area (TBA) Of Sourh America.”

The report was critical about corruption of the government of Brazil and noted that transnational criminal organizations from across the world have set up shop in that section of Brazil.

Here is how the Executive Summary about terrorist activities in the TBA begins:


Islamic Terrorist Groups and Activities in the Tri-Border Area (TBA)

This review of the available open-source information on Islamic terrorist group activities in Tri-Border Area (TBA) during the 1999 to 2003 period provides substantial evidence for concluding that various Islamic terrorist groups have used the TBA—where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet—as a haven for fund-raising, recruiting, plotting terrorist attacks elsewhere in the TBA countries or the Americas in general, and other such activities. Islamic terrorist groups with a presence in the TBA reportedly include Egypt’s Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) and Al-Jihad (Islamic Jihad), al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, and al-Muqawamah (the Resistance; also spelled al-Moqawama), which is a pro-Iran wing of the Lebanon-based Hizballah. Islamic terrorist groups have used the TBA for fund-raising, drug trafficking, money laundering, plotting, and other activities in support of their organizations. The large Arab community in the TBA is highly conducive to the establishment of sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists, including Hizballah and al Qaeda. Nevertheless, as many as 11,000 members of the Islamic community in the TBA may have moved since late 2001 to other less closely watched Arab population centers in South America.

Terrorists have been operating training camps in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America for many years.

Once in Brazil terrorists and transnational criminals can easily obtain false passports and board airliners for countries around the world.

This concern where the “missing” terrorist Abu Wa’el Dhiab is concerned was addressed at the beginning of the Fox News report:

A South American airline issued a memo to its employees Monday to be on the lookout for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was resettled in Uruguay after being freed by the U.S. and has since vanished.

Danilo Alves, a spokesman for Colombia-based Avianca Airlines in Sao Paulo, told The Associated Press that the alert was issued internally to employees, but declined to give any more details.

The alert about Syrian native Abu Wa’el Dhiab adds to a growing mystery about his whereabouts. The Uruguayan authorities have insisted for weeks that he’s visiting neighboring Brazil and that as a refugee he is entitled to leave Uruguay. However, Brazilian authorities have said there is no record of Dhiab entering the country.

The Argentine web news portal Infobae published the alert, which warns employees that Dhiab may be using a fake passport. The image of the alert posted by Infobae said the information came from Brazil’s anti-terrorism police.

Alternatively, in order to enter the United States from Latin America Dhiab and other terrorists may simply make their way to Mexico and enter the United States by evading detection by the Border Patrol.  Clearly this makes the lack of security of the Mexican border a matter of national security for the United States.

Yet the administration has failed abysmally to secure that border.  Furthermore, politicians from both political parties have spent the past 14 years debating the issue of border security with little to show for those debates and hearings except for the implementation of costly and ineffective programs such as the disastrous Secure Border Initiative Network (SMI Net) also known as the “Virtual Fence” that the GAO subsequently reported; virtually stopped no one.

Blue smoke and mirrors do not offer protection.  The only thing worse than no security is false security.  Promises by politicians to provide illegal aliens with lawful status in a massive legalization program would enable terrorists to easily game this fatally flawed immigration system to embed themselves in the United States and launch terror attacks here at home.

It has been reported that this election cycle, the majority of Americans are most concerned about the threat of terrorism.  Immigration failures have been at the root of the ability of international terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves.  Conversely, effective border security and the creation of integrity to the entire immigration system, including the effective enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States can be America’s most effective weapons in the war on terror.

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls.