News Releases

Sen. Moran Statement on Unprecedented Release of GITMO Detainees

Obama Administration Transfers 15 Detainees to United Arab Emirates in Largest Single Release Ever

MANHATTAN, Kan. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today issued a statement following the Obama Administration’s largest single release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO):

“The White House is yet again displaying a disturbing lack of judgment and transparency with the largest single release of GITMO detainees during President Obama’s time in office,” Sen. Moran said. “I have pushed to strengthen oversight of the Periodic Review Board – that determines the transfer of GITMO detainees – and to bolster congressional authorization before releasing detainee terrorists who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its citizens. This administration and foreign countries have lost track of numerous detainees, which escalates the risk for our military men and women if the detainees return to the battlefield. I am staunchly opposed to closing the detention facility and will continue working to keep the remaining 61 detainees at GITMO.”

The Obama Administration has been rapidly transferring detainees from GITMO since 2010. GITMO detainees, such as Ibrahim al-Qosi who is a spokesman and recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh who has pledged to kill as many Americans as possible, continue to return to terrorism. The total reengagement rate of GITMO detainees returning to the battlefield is now at more than 30 percent.

Sen. Moran has long advocated against relocating Guantanamo Bay detainees, works to uphold current law by sponsoring multiple amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act and sponsors the following legislation:

  • The Protections Against Terrorist Transfer Act of 2016 (S. 2780) to strengthen the certification requirements relating to the transfer or release of detainees at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; 
  • The Detainee Transfer Transparency Act (S. 2788) to make available to the public the intended transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at least 21 days in advance; 
  • The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act (S. 165) to prohibit the transfer to the United States of detainees designated medium- or high-risk for two years and ban transfers to Yemen, where dozens of the remaining Guantanamo detainees are from; and
  • S. 2559 to prevent President Obama from giving GITMO back to Cuba without proper Congressional approval.

Additionally, Sen. Moran introduced a Senate Resolution to detain Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters at GITMO.