Former Gitmo detainee Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov was at the Guantanamo
detention camp from June 13, 2002 and transferred to Mother Russia in 2004 by the Bush administration.
While at Gitmo, Ayrat was voted the "Inmate with the most punchable face." He was also designated a terrorist by our government.
It was learned that Ayrat (the 'y' is silent) is connected to last month's ISIS attack on the Istanbul airport that killed 45 and wounded over 230 others, which explains why he was designated a terrorist.
"For an individual to be designated a terrorist by our State Department, the threshold is way high," said Tony Shaffer, a former defense intelligence officer. "The Pentagon has been very reluctant to release a number of individuals and has had to bow to White House and State Department pressure," Shaffer added. He failed to mention the fact that those in the administration don't care what these guys do after release.
In order not to look as if releasing terrorists is a bad idea, the State Department's announcement of the terrorist designation leaves out the part where Vakhitov was once held at Gitmo, in the hope that we won't think the other terrorists to be released will be a bother to us at all. The designation also forgot to mention that Vakhitov was tied to the Istanbul attack this past June.
Voice of America reported that Vakhitov was arrested along with 30 others in connection with the Istanbul airport bombing, but Turkish authorities did not confirm this.
Vakhitov was arrested and incarcerated in Kandahar "by the Taliban on suspicion of espionage." He was later released and transferred to Gitmo due to "his possible knowledge of an American citizen killed" at the same prison "while he was there."
Vakhitov is from Tatarstan, Russia and has fought in Syria. He is tied to Jaysh al-Muhajirin Wal Ansar, a global terrorist group.
Maybe it's time for the Obama administration to stop worrying about the political optics and keep Gitmo open.