10 October 2008

Appeals Court Blocks Uighurs Release

An appeals court has blocked the release of 17 Uighurs from Guantanamo to the U.S., at least temporarily. My concern is that the courts will look at the appeal, but allow Judge Urbina's original ruling to stand.

I still believe that Judge Urbina's ruling is myopic, and considering that he is a Clinton administration appointee, I wonder if his political persuasions are clouding his judgment.

Consider the facts of how the 17 Uighurs in question came to be in U.S. custody.
• The Uighurs were training at terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in 2001.
• When the U.S. started bombing Afghanistan following the 11 September 2001 attacks, the Uighars fled the terror camps and crossed the border into Pakistan.
• Pakistani forces captured the Uighurs and transferred them to U.S. custody.
• The Uighurs all have been associated with, or were members of, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.
• These Uighur Islamic terrorists claim they don't want to commit terrorism against the U.S.; their target is China.
These 17 Uighurs are not some poor, misunderstood civilians who got swept-up in some terror dragnet. These Uighurs are Islamic terrorists who were training in Afghanistan in order to return to China to commit future terrorist attacks there. Here are some recent examples of Uighur terrorism in China.

A Uighur separatist group has taken credit for a deadly bus bombing in Shanghai in May and warned of new attacks in China during the Olympics, a group monitoring threats by extremists on the Internet said late on Friday.

In a video statement, Commander Seyfullah of the Turkestan Islamic Party claimed credit for several attacks, including the May 5 Shanghai bus bombing that killed three; another Shanghai attack; an attack on police in Wenzhou on July 17 using an explosive-laden tractor; a bombing of a Guangzhou plastic factory on July 17; and bombings of three buses in Yunnan Province on Thursday.
Taipei Times, 27 July 2008

Two women, including a teenage girl, were among the suicide attackers who launched a series of bomb attacks on a police station, government offices and shops, according to a senior official in China’s troubled north-western region of Xinjiang.

Chinese police in black body armour and carrying machine guns and rifles hunted for three escaped suspects yesterday, after the attacks on Sunday morning, the latest in a series of violent incidents apparently carried out by separatist insurgents and timed to coincide with the Beijing Olympics.
Times Online, 11 August 2008

Two police officers who were killed and five who were wounded in an ambush in western China on Aug. 27 were ethnic Uighurs searching for a woman who they thought might have been involved in an earlier attack, said a police officer in the village where the ambush took place.

The attackers were also Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic group common throughout the western region of Xinjiang. Brandishing knives, the attackers set upon a group of unarmed police officers as they were walking through a cornfield in the village of Qizilboy, said the police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to talk to reporters.
International Herald Tribune, 02 September 2008
For a much more in depth look at the Uighurs, go to the Long War Journal.

Do we really want to release these people into civilian custody in the U.S.? Who will be accountable if any of these Uighurs leave without telling authorities where they are going, for how long, and why? Many of these questions haven't been asked in the media, and I doubt that they will.

If the tables were turned, and the Chinese were holding al Qaeda terrorists who were training to attack the U.S., would we be pleased with China releasing those terrorists in China? The Chinese do have a record of human rights abuses, but that does not mean that we should then simply release 17 individuals with ties to an Islamic terror group who were training to commit terror attacks against the Chinese. Not turning these Uighurs over to the Chinese government due to concerns over how they would be treated in Chinese custody is understandable, but releasing these same Uighurs into civilian custody on U.S. soil does not make any sense whatsoever.

Unfortunately, knowing our court system in the U.S., common sense and protection of the innocent no longer seem to win the day.


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