Senators Lankford, Kirk Introduce NDAA Amendment to Cut Foreign Aid for Nations Who Lose Track of GITMO Terrorists

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today introduced an amendment (#4085) to the National Defense Authorization Act to cut foreign aid for nations who lose track of terrorists formerly held at the US Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Since 2009, President Obama has aggressively sought to empty out the detention facility in an effort to fulfill a campaign promise to close it. Most recently, the President sent a detention facility closure plan to Congress in February, and also transferred two detainees to the west African nation of Ghana. To better ensure that terrorists don’t return to the fight, this amendment would reduce foreign aid to Ghana, or any other nation, if those prisoners escape or return to terrorism.

“National security is among the most important and fundamental responsibilities of the federal government outlined in the US Constitution and expected by the American people,” said Lankford. “In the fight against terrorism, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is the best solution to house and keep terrorists from continuing their fight against freedom. The nations who harbor these detainees have the responsibility to closely monitor them. Our own Director of National Intelligence estimates that nearly one in three former Guantanamo Bay detainees have reengaged or are suspected to have reengaged in terrorism. This amendment will prevent terrorists from re-entering the fight and remind other nations who may accept them that they are expected to keep these terrorists off the battlefield.”

“There needs to be real accountability after the Administration transferred Ibrahim al-Qosi to Sudan, and Sudan let the former Guantanamo terrorist detainee re-emerge as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s chief recruiter,” said Kirk. “While Gitmo remains the safest and most secure place on the planet to lock up enemy combatants like al-Qosi, any country that accepts Gitmo transferees and loses control of these terrorists should face severe consequences.”

On January 27, Lankford and Kirk called on Senate Appropriations leaders to cut taxpayer-funded foreign aid for nations who lose track of terrorists formerly held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In March of 2015, Lankford visited the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and introduced the Guantanamo Bay Recidivism Prevention Act of 2015, to improve the monitoring of former detainees transferred to foreign countries to prevent them from returning to terrorism.