During six years at Guantánamo Bay, Abdul Rauf insisted he was a lowly Taliban foot soldier, even though he was really a corps commander.
Rauf, held as Detainee 108, was released in Dec. 12, 2007 to his native Afghanistan in a transfer of 15 captives. He was working as the top recruiter in Afghanistan for Islamic State militants when a drone strike on Monday killed him along with seven others.
Detainees like Rauf who have returned to the battlefield are complicating President Barack Obama’s hopes of closing the detention center for terrorism suspects at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba. It now holds 122 captives, just 10 of them in war court proceedings.
The administration says the prison is costly, damages America’s relationship with key allies and provides extremists a propaganda tool to woo recruits.
Republican lawmakers point to Rauf as an example of the danger that can come from releasing detainees.