After an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen claimed credit for Christmas day’s failed terrorist attack aboard a flight bound for Detroit, several U.S. Congressmen have called on President Obama to stop the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the Arab country.
Three senators— John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)—called the potential transfer of prisoners imprudent and rash.
"Given the security situation in Yemen and the failure of the Yemeni government to secure high-value prisoners in the past, we believe that any such transfers would be highly unwise and ill-considered," the senators wrote, quoted by the Agence France Press.
Nearly half of the 198 prisoners that are still being held at the Guantanamo Bay are from Yemen. The news source reports that the Yemen government has freed the six former Gitmo detainees that were sent back to Arab country on Dec. 20.
"Yemen is emerging as a well-organized terror hub in a struggling state, reminiscent of Afghanistan before 9/11," said Stewart Baker, a former official of the Homeland Security Department, quoted by The Los Angeles Times. "We don’t want to send nearly 100 people back there only to discover them getting on transatlantic flights with fake documents."
President Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor John Brennan told Fox News that Guantanamo Bay must be closed, but that they won’t "put American safety at risk."