Jan 15 2015

Graham, Ayotte, McCain Statement on Transfer of Guantanamo Bay Detainees to Oman, Estonia

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), and John McCain (R-Arizona) released the following statement today regarding the Administration's announcement last night that it has transferred four Guantanamo detainees to Oman and one to Estonia:

"As this week's transfer demonstrates, the Administration continues to transfer Guantanamo detainees while providing virtually no details to the American people regarding the risk the detainees present to our country and our allies, as well as the detainees' affiliations with terrorist groups and the conditions of their transfer.

"Of the five Yemenis transferred this week, four were sent to Oman, which shares a border with Yemen. According to a public report, Said Kouachi-one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks-is suspected of using a trip to Oman to slip into Yemen for terror training in July 2011. If that report is accurate, we just sent four Guantanamo detainees, with potential ties to al Qaeda, to Oman-the same country that reportedly served as the jumping off point for Said Kouachi to travel to Yemen for terrorist training.

"The lack of details provided to the public by the administration about these terrorists demonstrates the need for the transparency with the American people our legislation would require.

"If the detainees the administration has been transferring are truly not a threat to the American people, the administration should provide the unclassified details our legislation requires for the 32 detainees whom the administration has transferred since May."

Earlier this week, Senators Graham, Ayotte, McCain, and Burr introduced legislation that would restrict transfers of detainees from Guantanamo Bay in order to best protect Americans and our national security. The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015 would suspend international transfers of high and medium risk detainees, prohibit transfers of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, extend the current prohibition on transfers to the U.S., and increase transparency regarding risk assessments of the remaining Guantanamo detainees.