Bond: Mr. President – Don’t Make the Midwest a Terrorist Tourist Destination

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today urged President Obama to abandon plans to send terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison to facilities in American cities.  Bond has repeatedly stressed that Americans do not want terrorists in their neighborhoods.



“Mr. President, don’t make the Midwest a terrorist tourist destination,” said Bond.



In January, President Obama announced his decision to close Guantanamo Bay by an arbitrarily-set date, despite having no plan for handling the deadly terrorists housed there.  Now, more than six months after the announcement, news reports indicate that the Administration is considering plans to move terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to facilities in Michigan or Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and to try dozens of terrorists in New York, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.  Bond stressed that Americans do not want terrorists in their neighborhoods and the Administration should abandon any plan to use facilities in the Midwest to house deadly Guantanamo Bay detainees.



As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bond plays a critical oversight role in the Administration's handling of terrorists, many of whom have returned to terrorist activities after being released.  Bond has made clear to the Administration that any plan to close Guantanamo Bay must first, and foremost, ensure the safety of the American people.  In spite of Bond's repeated efforts to obtain details from the Administration about their plans to close Guantanamo Bay, including information about recidivism and the continuing threat posed by these terrorists, the Administration has failed entirely to respond.




Of further concern is that the Administration has not even met its own deadline for coming up with a plan. The President’s Executive Order to close Guantanamo Bay required a six-month report on the Administration's plans to release or transfer the remaining terrorist detainees, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators.  Recently, the Administration announced that the report would be delayed, even though the January 2010 deadline for closing Guantanamo Bay remains in place.  According to Bond, press reports that the President intends to send terrorists to American cities demand the Administration's immediate update to Congress and the American people.



“The President needs to honor his pledge of transparency and give the American people clear answers on how closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay and sending these deadly terrorists to American cities will actually make our nation safer and not just appease the radical left," said Bond.



The Senator pointed out that these deadly terrorists are not suitable for release.  The Pentagon has confirmed that at least 18 detainees who were released have gone back to the fight; 43 more are suspected of doing the same.