WaPo: Was Foley’s killer a former Gitmo detainee?

posted at 8:41 am on August 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The British accent in the video that depicted the despicable and cowardly murder of an American journalist has raised concerns in the UK about the background of the ISIS jihadist. The Washington Post’s report on the butchery includes this nugget that should have Americans thinking twice, too:

In an interview with the BBC, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond acknowledged that the apparent executioner spoke with a British accent and said the video seemed to be genuine.

Hundreds of Britons are believed to have traveled to Syria to fight in the country’s civil war, including many who have joined the Islamic State.

“We’re absolutely aware that there are significant numbers of British nationals involved in terrible crimes, probably in the commission of atrocities,” Hammond said. “Many of these people may seek at some point to return to the U.K., and they would then pose a direct threat to our domestic security.”

A European intelligence official said the British government was examining the video, and the speech of the purported executioner, to compare it with former Guantanamo Bay prisoners and other British residents believed to have joined the Islamic State.

Both prisoners in the video are wearing orange shirts and pants, similar to orange jumpsuits worn by detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A similar outfit, believed to be a jihadist symbol of the prison, was worn by Nicholas Berg, an American businessman kidnapped in Iraq in 2004 whose execution by an Islamic State precursor organization was recorded on video and posted online.

The May 2004 Berg killing was conducted by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Tawhid wal-Jihad at the beginning of the 2003 Iraq war, which became al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) at around the time of that beheading. US forces killed Zarqawi in an American airstrike, but AQI survived his death and the Anbar Awakening (if barely) to morph into ISIS when the US pulled out of Iraq. Berg was not the only American beheaded by Zarqawi, either; he also killed Owen Eugene Armstrong later in the same year, and both Berg and Armstrong wore orange jumpsuits when murdered, as did James Foley.

The orange jumpsuits are obviously referencing Guantanamo Bay, but the British seem concerned that there’s more than just symbolism now in play with ISIS. The US began releasing British subjects from Gitmo during the Bush administration under international pressure to shut down the facility, as well as releasing other detainees to their home countries, all of whom pledged to ensure that they would not return to the fight. We’ve seen plenty of recidivism since then, and all to this same end — to rejoin the jihad against the West and the nations in this region, and to recruit others to do the same.

It won’t be a surprise if the jihadist turns out to be a former Gitmo detainee, but it is a bit of a surprise that the UK doesn’t keep a close enough watch on those former detainees to account for their whereabouts immediately. After all, they have already been identified as threats, picked up in the battle zones far from home, which is how they ended up in Gitmo in the first place. The bigger worry for the UK — and for the US and other Western nations — will be how many of these butchers will make it back home undetected and anonymous. It should also have us taking great care not to release those who still present a danger, especially since we’re now desperately looking for ways to roll back ISIS. Perhaps we shouldn’t provide them more fighters than they already have.


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Dog Eater better freakin’ hope not, hooooooo boy.

Bishop on August 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

WaPo: Was Foley’s killer a former Gitmo detainee?

Sure, but he wasn’t a threat to anyone…the President
assured us….

ToddPA on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Dog Eater better freakin’ hope not, hooooooo boy.

Bishop on August 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

IIRC, most of the British subjects released from Gitmo were let go by the Bush administration.

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Well I hope this information is kept from Barry until after his breakfast. Can’t a dog eater just eat his waffle?

BettyRuth on August 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Orange is the new black.

Walter L. Newton on August 20, 2014 at 8:48 AM

The US began releasing British subjects from Gitmo during the Bush administration under international pressure to shut down the facility, as well as releasing other detainees to their home countries, all of whom pledged to ensure that they would not return to the fight.

One of Bush’s biggest mistakes.

Syzygy on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

IIRC, most of the British subjects released from Gitmo were let go by the Bush administration.

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Ed, the blood is still on Obama’s hands.

The LEADER of ISIS was let out of Gitmo in 2009 by Obama.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

It’s a good thing we have secure borders here in the US, otherwise I’d be a little worried that some of these guys might evade detection.

/

Bee on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Well I hope this information is kept from Barry until after his breakfast. Can’t a dog eater just eat his waffle?

BettyRuth on August 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Breakfast? It’s 8:50. Little Precious isn’t even awake yet.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:50 AM

It’s a good thing we have secure borders here in the US, otherwise I’d be a little worried that some of these guys might evade detection.

/

Bee on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

When an Iranian nuke is smuggled into the US via the southern border and used to destroy New York or Washington, I would NOT want to be counted amongst the open border crowd, US Chamber of Commerce, et all. It won’t be pretty for them…

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

IIRC, most of the British subjects released from Gitmo were let go by the Bush administration.

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

So what you’re saying Ed is these were the JV.

The 5 guys in the Prisoner swap the President did are
the Varsity.

ToddPA on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I must watch too much TV but this need to dress them in orange prison gear seems like it might be a helpful “clue”.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

It is kind of weird that Britain wouldn’t keep a better eye on these folks, it’s not like they haven’t been hit a time or two by these crazy folks.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

It should also have us taking great care not to release those who still present a danger, especially since we’re now desperately looking for ways to roll back ISIS. Perhaps we shouldn’t provide them more fighters than they already have.

How do you close Gitmo if you shut off the mechanism to trade with the terrorists?

I’m waiting for the day one of those detainees swapped for Bergdahl is the one doing the beheading.

Happy Nomad on August 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Noah forgot the sarc tag in the headline.

MT on August 20, 2014 at 8:57 AM

It is kind of weird that Britain wouldn’t keep a better eye on these folks, it’s not like they haven’t been hit a time or two by these crazy folks.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

There won’t be a Britain in 50 years. It’s been overrun with muzzies.

And they breed like roaches.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

IRC, most of the British subjects released from Gitmo were let go by the Bush administration.

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Then hopefully this falls back on the most recent release by DE as ironclad proof that it’s a really stupid idea, those savages aren’t heading back home to pursue a life of peaceful study.

Bishop on August 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

It is long time to be “all in” against Islam or learn how to live under Sharia. There is no middle ground. If we don’t understand this we are doomed!!

Deano1952 on August 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

WaPo: Was Foley’s killer a former Gitmo detainee?

That’s impossible..

Obama told us when he release the 5 generals for a deserter…

That the U.S. would track them..

Just like the guns in Arizona….

Oh wait….

Electrongod on August 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Bush releasing under intl pressure is no comparison to a Pres who does the same for personal and evil pleasure.

hillsoftx on August 20, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Wow, hanging out with the little people today!

crrr6 on August 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

When an Iranian nuke is smuggled into the US via the southern border and used to destroy New York or Washington, I would NOT want to be counted amongst the open border crowd, US Chamber of Commerce, et all. It won’t be pretty for them…

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

There will be on the order of ten or twelve I Iranian nukes brought into major metro areas of U.S. Cities via ‘suitcases’.

There will be a timed detonation, a la Sept. 11, 2001, and voila!! No more U.S. of A.

Chances are good that most are already here and in place, as well. Just waiting for the order to execute…

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

When an Iranian nuke is smuggled into the US via the southern border and used to destroy New York or Washington, I would NOT want to be counted amongst the open border crowd, US Chamber of Commerce, et all. It won’t be pretty for them…

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Quite frankly, if a semi-truck, operated by ISIS carrying a nuke stopped and they asked me for directions to Washington DC, I would give them a detailed map and program it into their GPS.

NYC? Would it make a difference?

Houston or Dallas – now we have a war.

Reuben Hick on August 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

The ‘good news’ is that when the first car bombs start going off here, the sound will be blocked by the cacophony of the calls to prayer.

vnvet on August 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Oh I’m sure that Gitmo vets get all the plum assignments.

Akzed on August 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

BO’s campaign promise to close Gitmo was one of the clearest signs of his stupidity/naivete/anti-Americanism (take your pick). I personally think it’s the latter.

Syzygy on August 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

So sad.

Cindy Munford on August 20, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Thanks you British MP’s. You own this

Not only have you created a respite for every Islamic terrorist who wants to settle in the UK, but you’ve let them all live off the dole.

What’s you’ve really done is financed terrorism and created a new breeding ground for their future. You know, in the interest of being good humanitarians. Oh, and destroying your country.

I see the number one name in the UK is some version of mohammed.

How’s this all working out for you blokes?

Marcus Traianus on August 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM

There will be on the order of ten or twelve I Iranian nukes brought into major metro areas of U.S. Cities via ‘suitcases’.

There will be a timed detonation, a la Sept. 11, 2001, and voila!! No more U.S. of A.

Chances are good that most are already here and in place, as well. Just waiting for the order to execute…

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

While that threat is real, it is also highly unlikely. Iran doesn’t have enough fissible material to make one bomb for themselves, much less multiple devices.

What they do have is enough radioactive material (mostly waste) to create dirty bombs that irradiate an area and make people very, very sick. Not to mention rendering the are uninhabitable.

Conservative Mischief on August 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

The killer’s possible connection to GITMO is less important than the fact that he is a typical muslim, doing what muslims do.

Pork-Chop on August 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

The killer’s possible connection to GITMO is less important than the fact that he is a typical muslim, doing what muslims do. Pork-Chop on August 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Oh stop, this is the War on Terror, not The Islamic War, silly. Keep that up and they’ll hate us more.

Akzed on August 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Iran doesn’t have enough fissible material to make one bomb for themselves, much less multiple devices.

Conservative Mischief on August 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

But they will soon enough.

Syzygy on August 20, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Why mess with nookyalers when the mobile variety of conventional bombs is readily available with material you can buy at the local Fleet Supply store.

Or have 50 guys wearing 50 bomb vests walk into 50 fast food joints across the nation and detonate during the lunch-rush, right there you would see the collapse of how much of the economy as every fast food restaurant in America instantly loses every single customer.

Bishop on August 20, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Truly frightening.

Will the real president please stand up?

Aizen on August 20, 2014 at 9:25 AM

IIRC, most of the British subjects released from Gitmo were let go by the Bush administration.

Ed Morrissey on August 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Under pressure from whom? (But I think we already know the answer to that.)

dominigan on August 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM

What they do have is enough radioactive material (mostly waste) to create dirty bombs that irradiate an area and make people very, very sick. Not to mention rendering the are uninhabitable.

Conservative Mischief on August 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

And by making it uninhabitable, it would cripple the oil refinery system, shut down the power grid, freeze the food supply chain, contaminate the water supply and delivery system and put the American people in a state of utter panic, resulting in anarchy and massive acts of looting, home invasion and the like.

12 well placed dirty bombs would be more than sufficient.

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Oh stop, this is the War on Terror, not The Islamic War, silly. Keep that up and they’ll hate us more.

Akzed on August 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

They already hate us, as you just indicated. Who cares if they hate us more, if they already hate us some?

And I still disagree with you. I believe we are at war with Islam.

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM

I don’t know, you might call it an
act of love
when these ex-Gitmo guys travel the long weary miles from the dangerous war-torn, gang-ingested ME to sneak into Britain.

Can we criticize them, really, for only wanting a better life, and/or jihadic death?

//

Dolce Far Niente on August 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM

You cannot win a war until you know who your enemy is. Fighting terrorists is like cutting off cancerous fingers one at a time. We have to go after the engine that manufactures terrorists like computers coming off an assembly line. That engine is the Muslim faith itself. This must be destroyed as Rome destroyed Carthage.

MaiDee on August 20, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Nice.

talkingpoints on August 20, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Has anybody in the Western media or government figured out yet that Muslim extremists are palying for keeps? That they really mean it when they say their goal is to anihilate all infidels? That their religion as they interpret it is incompatible with Western society?

talkingpoints on August 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Just in from Twitchy: The Obama cartel KNEW of ISIS’ threat to slaughter James Foley days ago. Yet the Dog Eater partied on on Martha’s Vineyard anyway.

Are you Obamanauts and libiots cool with that?

I wonder how much that affected Obama’s putting concentration.

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:43 AM

There will be on the order of ten or twelve I Iranian nukes brought into major metro areas of U.S. Cities via ‘suitcases’.

There will be a timed detonation, a la Sept. 11, 2001, and voila!! No more U.S. of A.

Chances are good that most are already here and in place, as well. Just waiting for the order to execute…

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

The US is pretty big. They would likely just hit the coasts, NYC, Boston, DC, etc.

Flyover country would probably be fine.

talkingpoints on August 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM

it is a bit of a surprise that the UK doesn’t keep a close enough watch on those former detainees to account for their whereabouts immediately

That line will get a good laugh at CIA and CTC. If it were only that easy…

Aplombed on August 20, 2014 at 9:45 AM

The US is pretty big. They would likely just hit the coasts, NYC, Boston, DC, etc.

Flyover country would probably be fine.

talkingpoints on August 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Detroit has a huge Muslim population and is a border city. The Southern border is virtually unprotected thanks to Obama. It is delusional to think that Houston, Dallas, Denver, or Chicago is somehow safer than NYC.

Happy Nomad on August 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Ed, the blood is still on Obama’s hands.

The LEADER of ISIS was let out of Gitmo in 2009 by Obama.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

True, and while that predates the 5 Jihadists for 1 deserter trade, this is worth reviewing:

Evil or Stupid?

ITguy on August 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM

how many of these butchers will make it back home undetected and anonymous

They can walk in through Mexico.

IndieDogg on August 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM

How many more Americans will die because of the naiveté of this president of ours and his administration?

COgirl on August 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The icing on the cake.

Just in from Twitchy: The Obama cartel KNEW of ISIS’ threat to slaughter James Foley days ago. Yet the Dog Eater partied on on Martha’s Vineyard anyway.

Are you Obamanauts and libiots cool with that?

I wonder how much that affected Obama’s putting concentration.

bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:43 AM

And that is the cherry on top.

formwiz on August 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Ed, the blood is still on Obama’s hands.
The LEADER of ISIS was let out of Gitmo in 2009 by Obama.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Umm, no. He was in custody in Camp Bucca, Iraq, and was released in 2004.

cam2 on August 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Indication that Obama has given this to the FBI instead of DoD?

The FBI believes the Islamic State video purporting to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley is authentic, GlobalPost reported on Wednesday.

Aplombed on August 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Among other actions, it’s clearly time to simply execute everyone detained at Gitmo. *NO* further releases.

Midas on August 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Ed, the blood is still on Obama’s hands.

The LEADER of ISIS was let out of Gitmo in 2009 by Obama.

ConstantineXI on August 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Where’s the evidence of that? I’m not being combative – it’s just that I researched this once and couldn’t find any conclusive evidence of it. A lot of allegations though.

I saw one report that said they had caught many terrorists going by the name of the current ISIS caliph – and no way to tell if the one in GITMO was the same one.

HondaV65 on August 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Umm, no. He was in custody in Camp Bucca, Iraq, and was released in 2004.

cam2 on August 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

See – that’s what I mean by my comment above. No one really is sure if any of the Al Baghdadi guys we caught is actually the one leading IS atm.

HondaV65 on August 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Perhaps we shouldn’t provide them more fighters than they already have.

It would be nice if you stopped arming and training them as well.

BL@KBIRD on August 20, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I’m not sure I buy this theory. If a former detainee had executed the American, the ISIL would want to brag about it. Even with their focus on extreme secrecy, the embarrassment this would cause the US and UK would make it too good to resist.

Mahna Mahna on August 20, 2014 at 11:28 AM

No one really is sure if any of the Al Baghdadi guys we caught is actually the one leading IS atm.

HondaV65 on August 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM

This is the DOD’s statement on the issue:
“Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ was held as a ‘civilian internee’ by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time.”
http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jun/19/jeanine-pirro/foxs-pirro-obama-set-isis-leader-free-2009/

cam2 on August 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Hang all of the rest with pigskin nooses, now, just to be sure.

In answer to ISIS.

And to make sure none of these scum get to their psychotic “paradise”.

profitsbeard on August 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I know this isn’t an important point but just because the guy had an English accent doesn’t necessarily mean he’s English or even been in England. It just means his English teacher was from England. I’ve talked to Germans and you can tell whether their English teacher was British or American.

crankyoldlady on August 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Oh stop, this is the War on Terror, not The Islamic War, silly. Keep that up and they’ll hate us more. Akzed on August 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

They already hate us, as you just indicated. Who cares if they hate us more, if they already hate us some? And I still disagree with you. I believe we are at war with Islam. bimmcorp on August 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM

I DON’T USE SARC TAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Akzed on August 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Here’s an open door for the libs to say “See! We did this!”

Axeman on August 20, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I know this isn’t an important point but just because the guy had an English accent doesn’t necessarily mean he’s English or even been in England. It just means his English teacher was from England. I’ve talked to Germans and you can tell whether their English teacher was British or American.

crankyoldlady on August 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I read somewhere else that NSA/CIA and the Brits are analyzing his accent and have settled on “South” or “South London”. This is one thing they are pretty good at.

slickwillie2001 on August 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Time’s a-wasting to distinguish “radical Islam” from “Islam.”

Muslims lay low only until they reach a population size that enables them to dominate others. That’s been Islam’s method of behavior throughout history, there should be no need to belabor the acknowledgement of this covert method by Islam as to dominating others, or trying to.

The only NON-radical Muslims are those who are isolated or live among other populations in smaller numbers. Once joined by others, their numbers multiplied, Muslims — all of them — become radical.

Lourdes on August 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

And liberals think pouring water over their faces is the worst thing ever.

The Notorious G.O.P on August 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

The blood is on Il Douche’s hands. End of subject./

pdigaudio on August 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Give me 1 minute with the masked killer!

LurkerDood on August 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

My guess is the administration probably knows. Voice identification is conducted in real time now. If it is a released detainee, you won’t hear about it because it would blow the administration’s quick release program to smithereens.

Corky Boyd on August 20, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Umm, no. He was in custody in Camp Bucca, Iraq, and was released in 2004.

cam2 on August 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

See – that’s what I mean by my comment above. No one really is sure if any of the Al Baghdadi guys we caught is actually the one leading IS atm.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Abu Dua, has been the leader of AQI/ISI since death of the AQI leader and ISI leader in 2010 and since its evolution into ISIL/ISIS.

He was in Camp Bucca and released in 2004, as Wikipedia states. That is his detention photo and true name.

What are you confused about? For once Wikipedia has it right.

Miss_Anthrope on August 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM