On the conversation of the sort of threat Ghana faces as a country after it emerged that the West African country has signed a deal with the United States to house two Al-Qaeda linked Guantanamo Bay prisoners, GhanaCelebrities.Com has been speaking to several experts of National Security and Military intelligence.
One of such experts is a British Military officer of Ghanaian descent, who has served in Jordan and other unstable countries under the British Army—and he simply says, it’s not a laudable idea for Ghana to be playing with fire this way.
According to the London based officer who agreed to speak to us under the cloak of anonymity, Ghanaians need to press for hard answers—especially when it comes to the sort of security details concerning the movement of these two Al-Qaeda linked prisoners; Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby.
He said “For the United States to have arrested and detained these two people for close to 14 years, they had intelligence at the time that they were dangerous and therefore no one can rule out the fact that these two could still be dangerous.
Of course the United States needs more to convict or keep holding them and it could simply be that they are unable to obtain this to a satisfactory level—hence the necessity to resettle them. So Ghanaians should be asking, what intelligence was used to first arrest and detain these two prisoners.”
Mostly such prisoners have elaborate connections and funds and therefore resettling them in a country like Ghana with weak surveillance could be an easy walk through for them. By the time people know, they are gone—doing something else unexpected.
Therefore, the most crucial question is the sort of security detail attached to their stay in Ghana.
Are they going to be put under a 24/7 surveillance, live under a curfew or be free like everyone else to do whatever they want?
It’s awkward on the face of it why prisoners that the United States has once considered a threat to their national security and perhaps still remain a threat would be pushed the way of Ghana for resettling, especially those who have been held for this long.
If these prisoners are volatile characters and therefore the United States is not certain about them, then Ghana should also be.
We cannot rule out the possibility of in-built hatred and distinctiveness after spending almost 14 years in Guantanamo Bay as a terror suspect. Therefore, these people are more likely not to be like the ordinary citizen anymore—most people come out of such zones hardened and more radicalized.
So what would their interaction and business with the wider public be like? Are they going to be working or do what?
With Boko Haram just next door to Ghana causing carnage and building a gang of terrorists, the last thing Ghana needs is to do anything that would connect the country to any important terrorist or agent.
Easily, these people if they are indeed a national security threat as most people are worried about because of their background, then they can easily synchronize their agenda with rationalized terror groups like Boko Haram, a stone throw away from Ghana—and that’s not what Ghana wants at this stage.
To say these two people who were detained for close to 14 years are suddenly risk free will demand a hell of evidence and assessment; so what is the guarantee that they are indeed risk free?
And who is giving the guarantee; the United States which is finding every means possible to close down Guantanamo Bay due to mounting political pressure or Ghana?
Surely, people have the right to be worried and ask questions—I have worked in Jordan and several of these countries considered unstable and those who actually wear the cloth of terrorism can’t be toyed with.
And the United States just don’t arrest anybody and detain them for almost 14 years for a reason.