Skip to main content

Pentagon due to submit Guantanamo closure plan

Tuesday's report is expected to contain details on how much it would cost to house Gitmo detainees in various US prisons
File photo shows the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (AFP)

Military officials are poised to submit to Congress a much-anticipated report on how to close the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, a spokesman said on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the military would meet a Tuesday deadline to release the plan on how to shutter the controversial facility.

"We understand that the deadline's tomorrow, and it's our intent to meet it," Davis said.

The detention centre at Guantanamo Bay was opened by then-president George W Bush in the wake of the 11 September, 2001 attacks and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Inmates were called "enemy combatants" and denied standard US legal rights, meaning many were held for years without charge or trial.

President Barack Obama has been trying to close Guantanamo since taking office in 2009, arguing the facility acts as a recruitment tool for hardline militants and feeds into an anti-US narrative.

About 780 inmates have been held there since it opened in January 2002; there are now 91 inmates remaining.

The United States wants other countries to take those designated low-risk. But about 50 are deemed too dangerous to ever be released. 

The Pentagon last year sent a team of experts to review US sites that could house those detainees following the closure of the prison.

Tuesday's report is expected to contain details on how much it would cost to house the men at each site.

Locations considered include the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina; Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, and a federal prison complex in Colorado that is already home to Egypt's Ramzi Yousef, who bombed the World Trade Centre in 1993, and "Unabomber" serial murderer Ted Kaczynski.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.