Rep. Lynn WestmorelandLeon (Lynn) Acton WestmorelandEconomy and health intertwined in the fight against coronavirus Juan Williams: GOP to blame for civility's breakdown Veteran GOP lawmaker Westmoreland to retire MORE (R-Ga.) on Monday argued that transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees threaten national security.

Westmoreland, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that prisoners released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility are likely to return to terrorism.


"I have said it before and I’ll say it again, releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay endangers our soldiers abroad and our security at home. When will the Obama administration realize that releasing Guantanamo prisoners gives terrorists a second chance?" Westmoreland said.

About 70 detainees at Guantanamo Bay are considered high-value prisoners or involved in cases without enough evidence to prosecute yet, while about 80 more are considered eligible for release. 

Westmoreland warned that releasing suspected terrorists could potentially result in recruits for extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A Fox News report last week said that 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees joined ISIS upon their release.

"The last thing we should be doing is releasing Guantanamo detainees when former detainees are reported to be fighting with ISIS. Our troops should never have to confront a former Guantanamo detainee on the battlefield, and we should be doing everything in our power to be sure that doesn’t happen," Westmoreland said.