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Pentagon: Gitmo recidivism likely rising

  |   Jan. 6, 2010 at 3:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Instances of former Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees returning to terror groups after their releases likely remain on the rise, a Pentagon spokesman says.

The issue of recidivism among former Guantanamo detainees has gained a high profile since two ex-prisoners were identified as leaders of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that has claimed responsibility for an attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. jetliner, allegedly by a Nigerian man.

Asked for the latest figures on Guantanamo recidivism, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Wednesday that while he couldn't share any numbers more recent than a declassified report from May showing an upward trend, he said, "I do not believe that trend has reversed itself."

The May Pentagon report showed a Guantanamo recidivism rate of 14 percent, up from an 11 percent figure noted a month earlier.

"We do try to keep very, very close tabs on those detainees who we have transferred from Guantanamo back to their home country or third countries," Morrell said. "We clearly have been doing our best to keep tabs on anyone who may have returned to the fight, either in a confirmed fashion or in a suspected fashion, since then."

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