- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has nearly 1,000 active probes connected to the Islamic State terrorist group inside the U.S., law enforcement officials claimed in a letter to President Obama. 

The terrorist probes were revealed in a letter from a group of elected sheriffs in Colorado blasting the president’s plan to transfer known terrorists held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanmo Bay, Cuba, to a mainland facility. Two federal prison facilities in Colorado are being considered for the potential transfer.

The sheriff’s wrote that the relocation of such dangerous prisoners to a Colorado facility could tempt many of the thousands of Islamic State supporters being investigated by the FBI to target the prison. 

“We recently learned that the FBI has almost 1,000 active ISIS investigations taking place inside the borders of the United States. We believe it would be dangerously naive not to recognize that a civilian prison with an untold number of enemy combatant inmates, located in our state, would provide a very tempting target for anyone wishing to either free these detainees or simply wishing to make a political statement,” the sheriffs wrote in their Nov. 9 letter, published by Judicial Watch. 

The Obama administration has been working to release or transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility back to their home countries, but those that are still deemed to dangerous to transfer will be moved to a U.S. facility if President Obama successfully closes the prison, a goal he has touted since his first presidential campaign.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said that about half of the remaining 112 Gitmo detainees must be locked up “indefinitely.” These prisoners include 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Al Qaeda terrorist charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole, according to Judicial Watch.

In their letter, the cops cited examples of coordinated violent attacks against prisons holding radical Islamic militants.

“In the 1990s, we experienced the dangers and threats to our capital city, Denver, when two domestic terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were tried there,” the sheriffs wrote. “Security during that trial was unprecedented. We can only imagine the disruptions and dangers throughout our state if enemy combatants from Guantanamo Bay were routinely transported from Canon City to the heart of our capital city of Denver.”

On Tuesday, Congress passed a new annual defense authorization act that bans the Obama administration from shipping detainees to the mainland U.S.

The Pentagon is expected to unveil its report with plans to close the Guantanamo Bay facility soon.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide