AP FACT CHECK: Trump on releasing ‘dangerous terrorists’
WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at President Donald Trump’s statement about terrorists returning to the battlefield Tuesday night and how it compares with the facts:
TRUMP: “In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists only to meet them again on the battlefield, including the ISIS leader, (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi, who we captured, who we had, who we released.”
THE FACTS: Trump is correct that al-Baghdadi had been released after being detained at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, U.S. detention facilities in Iraq. But Trump made his comment while announcing that he had signed an executive order to keep open the controversial U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. If he meant that “hundreds and hundreds” of Guantanamo detainees had been released only to return to the battlefield, his math is off.
The office of the Director of National Intelligence said this summer in its most recent report on the subject that of the 728 detainees who have been released from Guantanamo, 122 are “confirmed” and 90 are “suspected” of re-engaging in hostile activities.
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