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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Reps. Turner, Veasey seek to halt release of terrorists to Afghanistan

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In response to Afghanistan’s return to Taliban rule, U.S. Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Marc Veasey (D-TX) introduced legislation last week – the Preventing Terrorist Transfers to Afghanistan Act – that would disallow the release of terrorism-aligned individuals to Afghanistan.

A similar provision was included in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

“Congress has a duty to protect the American people from threats like terrorism,” Turner said. “Quickly after the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of Kabul, and the region became a safe haven for terrorists again. It is a detriment to our national security to transfer individuals with suspected connections to terrorists organizations to Afghanistan. This move would only benefit non-state actors who pose a threat to Americans and our troops overseas.”

The bill would backdate its demand to 2021 and prohibit any use of funds for transferring or releasing individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Afghanistan. In his statement on the bill, Turner specifically called out the recent release of Asadullah Haroon Gul, a detainee accused of connections with Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), an al Qaeda associate.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.