Turner’s bipartisan bill ends funding of Guantanamo Bay terrorist transfers to Afghanistan

Rep. Mike Turner

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) on July 1 sponsored a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the use of funds to transfer or release individuals detained at the United States military base, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, to Afghanistan.

“It is a detriment to our national security to transfer individuals with suspected connections to terrorists organizations to Afghanistan,” said Rep. Turner, ranking member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “This move would only benefit non-state actors who pose a threat to Americans and our troops overseas.”

The Preventing Terrorist Transfers to Afghanistan Act, H.R. 8280, which Rep. Turner introduced with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), is the companion bill to the same-named S. 4491, introduced in June by U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) to end the transfer of individuals who are associated with terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. 

If enacted, the bill also would reaffirm a provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, according to Rep. Turner’s staff.

The congressman pointed out that quickly after the U.S. finalized its withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban once again took control of Kabul and the region became a safe haven for terrorists.

Most recently, the Biden administration in June released Afghan national Asadullah Haroon Gul, an individual who is accused of having a connection with Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan, an organization known to be an “associated force” with al Qaeda, according to Rep. Turner’s staff.

“Congress has a duty to protect the American people from threats like terrorism,” the congressman said last week.

Both H.R. 8280 and S. 4491 have been referred for consideration to each chamber’s respective Armed Services Committees.