Mullah Zakir is Gitmo Detainee Back Fighting in Afghanistan

Mullah Zakir is a former Gitmo detainee returned to Afghanistan by the U.S. government in late 2007. Guess what? He’s fighting against American and coalition soldiers. No surprise there – except that we would be inclined to release him in the first place.

Capt. Matthew Martin – USMC, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, July 3, 2009
Captain Martin is commander of golf Company, 2nd Batallion, 8th Marine Regiment
Photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

Mullah Zakir, also known as Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, “surrendered” in northeren Afghanistan in 2001. Sent to Gitmo in 2006 and released to Afghan custody in late 2007. According to Afghani newspapers, the Afghan government released Zakir sometime in 2008 and mid-year he was appointed as a senior military commander.

Explaining why Zakir was released from Gitmo, the defense official said, “We were under incredible pressure from the world to release detainees at Gitmo. You just don’t know what people are going to do.

He was no worse than anyone else being held at Guantanamo Bay,” the official added. “He was not going to be tried for war crimes so we decided to release him. Either he was not thought to have committed a crime or we didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute him.

I can empathize with the “defense official,” because we know the clamoring of the Left all around the world. It’s just a darn shame we listened and acted upon it. Of course, we know what people are going to do. Especially in this case, because Zakir had already done it. Another facet of the story was that Afghanistan “promised to take steps to mitigate the threat he posed.”

Sgt. Ryan Pettit (L) and Cpl. Matthew Miller, USMC
Helmand Province Afghanistan – July 3, 2009
Photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

Thomas Joscelyn at the Long War Journal has a different and more detailed view of Zakir-Rasoul, including a comment that a Taliban official gave to The Times: “He was one of Mullah Omar’s deputies.”

Said to be a “charismatic leader,” Zakir set up his own “accountability commission” and tracked Taliban spending, and found that Taliban leaders were running a shadow government.

In January, the Pentagon released a report saying that sixty-one former detainess from Gitmo, Cuba “may” have returned to terrorist activities:

The report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former detainees are confirmed to have participated in attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.

That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners who have been released from the Guantanamo facility, which Obama on Thursday ordered be shut down.

On Friday, a Pentagon spokesman defended the integrity of the report but would not directly answer questions about where the figures come from.

“We don’t make these figures up. They’re not done willy-nilly,” spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Read a report here of other detainees who are known to have returned to the battlefield, including Saeed Shihri believed to be responsible for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. Al Qaedo made a video with the former detainees wearing their Gitmo prisoner numbers for the camera. Don’t ya love it?

A couple of questions:

1) If the prisoners were taken on a battlefield, why would we ever release them while we are fighting this war.

2) Why do we have an Embassy in Yemen?

Speaking of our Embassy in Yemen. I checked it out and learned that we have an “Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.” This fund helps “preserve historic sites and manuscripts, museum collections, and traditional form of expression such as music, dance, and language.” In other words, we offer grants to assist less developed country preserve their heritage.

There’s a second fund organized out of the Embassy, as well: the ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund. The goal of this fund is to improve “basic economic and social conditions” in Yemen communities. Some examples are centers for the disabled and orphaned children, water and sanitation projects.

News today reminds me that while we help countries all over the world preserve their heritage, largely countries that hate us, we will no longer provide Pentagon-sponsored military fly-overs for any event with a “Christian nature,” which always includes patriotism.