Before he closes Guantánamo, Obama must take a clear-eyed look at the record – and anticipate the next chapter of the fight against terrorism.
What happens to terrorist suspects after they leave the detention center at Guantánamo Bay?
According to a Pentagon report leaked in May, 14 percent are engaged in terrorist activity. While many of their identities remain unknown, details are available about a handful of high-profile recidivists.
Abdallah Saleh al-Ajmi was picked up by the United States in Afghanistan, accused of aiding the Taliban. He spent four years at Guantánamo and was then released and repatriated to Kuwait. Acquitted by a criminal court, he then traveled to Iraq, where he drove an explosives-packed truck into an Iraqi Army base in 2008, killing 13 Iraqi soldiers and himself.
More troubling are the cases of Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul and Said Ali al-Shihri. Mr. Rasoul, who was released to the Afghan government in December 2007, is now the Taliban's operations leader in southern Afghanistan. Mr. Shihri was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program before becoming the deputy leader of Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen.