Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the vice-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, brought out the “Preventing Terrorist Transfers to Afghanistan Act.”

The bill has the support of some of the top Republicans in the U.S. Senate including U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who leads the GOP on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On the other side of the aisle, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence, is also a co-sponsor.

“It is reckless and irresponsible to release Asadullah Haroon Gul al Afghani to the Taliban,” Rubio said. “The terrorist organization that now controls Afghanistan cannot and will not ensure Gul, or any future detainees who are released, will not return to the battlefield and potentially kill Americans or other innocent civilians. It is clear that Congress needs to immediately pass this legislation to prevent the Biden Administration from releasing additional detainees who endanger U.S. interests and innocent lives. Sending individuals like Gul with known extremist views to the very terrorist safe haven they recreated following the disastrous military withdrawal last summer is unconscionable.”

“This is an overdue correction to long-standing law preventing the transfer of terrorist detainees to countries that support terrorism,” McConnell said. “Following President Biden’s reckless abandonment of Afghanistan, that country is now controlled by terrorists with American blood on their hands, and so we shouldn’t be sending any terrorists back there.”

“As a recent UN report confirms, the Taliban maintains a dangerous relationship with al Qaeda and has been unwilling to control terrorism inside of Afghanistan’s borders. Worse, the same report indicates al Qaeda enjoys increased freedom of action to plot attacks outside of Afghanistan – a threat to all Americans,” Risch said. “This legislation rightly prevents the release of Guantanamo detainees to Afghanistan where the risk of returning to terrorism is high.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House.

Kevin Derby
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