Friday, October 15, 2004

The one that got away 

I guess maybe letting him out of Guantanamo Bay was a mistake:
"A former Taliban fighter who was freed in March from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is leading a group of militants who have kidnapped two Chinese engineers and threatened to kill them. Tribal leaders called on the Pakistani military Wednesday to use force to free the hostages...

"Mehsud, 28, came back to Pakistan in March after about two years' detention at Guantanamo. He was captured by U.S.-allied Afghan forces in northern Afghanistan in December 2001 while fighting for the Taliban.

"Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the military has released 202 detainees from Guantanamo in the past year or so. Whitman estimated that five to seven are now engaged in terrorism.

"Mehsud, like all others who have been released, was deemed not to be a threat by a panel of U.S. personnel from the Defense Department, State Department and intelligence agencies. 'We do periodic reviews of cases. It's not a perfect process. When we make a determination to release, we can't be 100% sure they will not return to the fight,' Whitman said."
5 or 7 out of 202 is not a bad recidivism rate - if terrorism was a law enforcement problem, that is. Methinks Mehsud might be in trouble, if the Pakistani security forces subscribe to the "one strike, you're out (permanently)" rule.


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