Ibrahim al Qosi, an Al Qaeda member who once served as Osama bin Laden’s cook, has been released from the Guantanamo Bay military prison after serving just 2 years of a 14-year sentence
His release infuriated U.S. Rep. Pete King as well as the father of an FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11By Joseph Straw
July 12, 2012
WASHINGTON — A jack-of-all-trades terrorist who once served as Osama bin Laden’s cook was released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials said Wednesday.
Ibrahim al Qosi, 52, a native of Sudan, was freed two years into a 14-year sentence for serving in Al Qaeda in the runup to 9/11.
Retired FDNY deputy chief Jim Riches, whose son and fellow firefighter Jimmy died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, called al Qosi’s release “disgusting.”
“I think it’s an insult to the 3,000 people who died that day,” Riches railed.
Al Qosi was a tenured jihadist and one of the “Dirty Thirty” core Al Qaeda members who were targeted for capture immediately after the attacks.
He did it all for the group and its doomed leader, from guarding and chauffeuring bin Laden to cooking chow at camp to lobbing mortars in combat.
The versatile terrorist even kept the books for an Al Qaeda front company that bin Laden ran in Sudan before the failed state pushed the terror leader out in 1996.
In 2010 al Qosi cut a deal with military prosecutors, pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism in exchange for a pledge that his sentence would be reviewed this year.
When that happened, al Qosi was shipped to his homeland, where he will be in a Sudanese “reintegration” program that his American lawyer, Paul Reichler, said has handled nine Guantanamo prisoners without a single case of recidivism.
After temporary confinement, al Qosi will be monitored when he returns to his home village, where his family runs a farm and a store, Reichler said.
Al Qosi was only freed because the U.S. felt he “would not represent any kind of threat to the United States,” Reichler said. “If they had considered him a threat, they would not have released him.”
But Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) called the decision “disgraceful,” noting Sudan’s continued U.S. designation as a state sponsor of terror.
The Obama administration has hinted at lifting the designation if Sudan keeps playing ball in the fight against terror.
Along with his boss, al Qosi gave American troops the slip at Tora Bora in Afghanistan late in 2001.
Al Qosi, however, was promptly collared across the border in Pakistan and turned over to the U.S., which shipped him to its then-new prison in Cuba early in 2002.
Just 168 prisoners remain at Guantanamo, from a high of nearly 700. A 2010 U.S. intelligence community analysis found that up to a quarter of released detainees returned to terrorism or insurgency.
President Obama pledged during his 2008 campaign to close the detention camp, but Congress slammed the door on stateside transfer of detainees.
The remaining detainees include Khalid Sheik Muhammad and four co-defendants who are facing trial before a military commission for planning and aiding the 9/11 attacks.
Bin Laden was killed May 2, 2011, in a U.S. raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.