Abu Ahmed, a senior official in ISIS, said jihadists were scared of Camp Bucca at first but they:
… quickly realised that far from their worst fears, the US-run prison provided an extraordinary opportunity. “We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else,” he told me. “It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred metres away from the entire al-Qaida leadership.”
Camp Bucca became a safe meeting place for the “entire al-Qaida leadership.” In fact, Camp Bucca was the first place Abu Ahmed met al-Baghdadi. Camp Bucca wasn’t the only thing that help create terrorists. Abu Ahmed was inspired by another action on the part of the United States:
He had been galvanised into militancy as a young man by an American occupation that he and many like him believed was trying to impose a power shift in Iraq, favouring the country’s larger Shia population at the expense of the dominant Sunnis. His early role in what would become Isis led naturally to the senior position he now occupies within a revitalised insurgency that has spilled across the border into Syria. Most of his colleagues regard the crumbling order in the region as a fulfilment of their ambitions in Iraq – which had remained unfinished business, until the war in Syria gave them a new arena.
If this is not enough, listen to how Abu Ahmed described prisoner interactions at Camp Bucca:
“In prison, all of the princes were meeting regularly. We became very close to those we were jailed with. We knew their capabilities. We knew what they could and couldn’t do, how to use them for whatever reason. The most important people in Bucca were those who had been close to Zarqawi. He was recognised in 2004 as being the leader of the jihad.
“We had so much time to sit and plan,” he continued. “It was the perfect environment. We all agreed to get together when we got out. The way to reconnect was easy. We wrote each other’s details on the elastic of our boxer shorts. When we got out, we called. Everyone who was important to me was written on white elastic. I had their phone numbers, their villages. By 2009, many of us were back doing what we did before we were caught. But this time we were doing it better.”
Some 17 of the 25 most important IS leaders running the war in Iraq and Syria spent time in US prisons between 2004 and 2011.
There are people who think we should keep Abu Ghraib open. Here is how The Guardian describes Abu Ghraib,
The revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib had a radicalising effect on many Iraqis, who saw the purported civility of American occupation as little improvement on the tyranny of Saddam. While Bucca had few abuse complaints prior to its closure in 2009, it was seen by Iraqis as a potent symbol of an unjust policy, which swept up husbands, fathers, and sons – some of them non-combatants – in regular neighbourhood raids, and sent them away to prison for months or years
Camp Bucca served as a unique, perhaps only, meeting place and networking hub of AQI turned ISIS.
Another Point of Responsibility
Some of my readers may think that my position is a deranged rant. Former Lt. General Michael Flynn, now National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, said the 2003 Iraq war under President George W. Bush was responsible for creating ISIS. Here is how he described our decision to release al-Baghdadi in 2004 under President Bush:
We were too dumb. We didn’t understand who we had there at that moment. When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, “Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them.” Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from. Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction.
Flynn and I arrive at the same conclusion through different routes.
How many Americans were killed by refugees from Trump’s banned seven in the last 40 years? The answer is ‘zero.’
To be clear, not all who traveled here from these countries are innocent. 17 people from Trump’s seven banned countries were convicted of attempting or participating in terror attacks. What are the chances that an American would be killed by a refugee during those 40 years? You have a 0.00003 percent chance of dying from a terrorist attack committed by a foreigner.
To put it another way, an American has a one in 3.6 million chance of dying at the hands of a foreigner. This number covers a 41 year period and the 9/11 attacks.
Safety is supposed to be the concern that overrides our obligation to accept Syrian refugees, but that concern is unfounded and cannot serve as an overriding concern.
Syrian refugees have a higher chance of dying by fleeing the Syrian War than Americans of dying at their hands. We should accept them into the US if we want to save lives.