Sen. Riser authors resolution to keep terrorists out of La.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 16, 2009

VIDALIA — Terrorism is serious business, and Neil Riser doesn’t want suspected terrorists in Louisiana.

Riser, the senator for state senate district 32, has pre-filed Senate concurrent resolution No. 4 asking the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and the federal Bureau of Prisons not to transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility to federal prisons in Louisiana.

The resolution also memorializes the U.S. Congress, essentially asking the federal legislature to affirm the measure.

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In January, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year. Enemy combatants from the global war on terror have been housed at the facility in recent years.

Riser said he drafted the resolution as soon as he heard the President was thinking of closing the facility.

“I wanted (Louisiana) to be the first to say, ‘Under no circumstances were we going to take anybody who had done terrorist acts that claimed American lives,’” Riser said.

Riser’s resolution states “despite the best efforts of the federal Bureau of Prisons, those detainees, if transferred stateside to facilities in American communities and neighborhoods, would present a significant threat to the American people at large, and most especially to those people located near any federal detention facility.”

The facility houses approximately 245 prisoners for more than 30 countries, Riser said.

Those detainees include terrorists, terrorist franchisers, bomb makers, al-Qaida recruiters and facilitators and would-be suicide bombers, Riser said.

“There are a whole lot of dangerous people,” he said.

“I think everybody else would agree that this is not a risk we are willing to take,” Riser said.

If the resolution passes, Riser said he will send it to the 49 other states in the union and ask them to pass similar resolutions.

“We want to make a statement being clear that we don’t want (the prisoners),” Riser said.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons Web site,, there are federal detention facilities in Oakdale, Pine Prairie and Pollock, and an office in New Orleans.