Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Al-Qaeda´s opinion about the closure of Guantanamo Bay

Al-Qaeda has apparently been releasing a lot of anti-Obama propaganda in the wake of his election victory. While the linked article concerns itself with what it means for al-Qaeda that Bush is no longer President and Obama is, I was struck by a minor point on Page 2:
Friday, a new al-Qaeda salvo attempted to embarrass Obama, a day after the new president announced his plans for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Appearing on the videotaped message were two men who enlisted in al-Qaeda after being freed from that detention center.
"By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for and were imprisoned for," said Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, who described himself as a deputy commander for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

It does not escape my notice that al-Qaeda is trying to scare people into believing that releasing prisoners - even prisoners who were not originally jihadists when they were originally imprisoned - from Guantanamo Bay will greatly increase the risk of terrorist attack. This is the same argument made by domestic opponents of the closure: that the people imprisoned there are too dangerous to release, even into the regular American prison system.

I conclude from this unity of arguments that al-Qaeda doesn´t want Guantanamo Bay to close. Why would they? The propaganda value that its continued existence has for them is immense. I conclude also that they are intentionally trying to feed the fear that local opponents are instilling about the possible release of Guantanamo Bay detainees in an intentional effort to prevent the facility´s closure. Local opponents of the closure of Guantanamo Bay might want to think about that.

1 comment:

James Polley said...

even prisoners who were not originally jihadists when they were originally imprisoned

So - AQ are saying that if Guantanamo hadn't existed, there would be fewer jihadists. Sounds like a good reason to close it to me.