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Most Guantanamo Prisoners Have No Intention to Return to Battlefield

Sputnik News

20:26 13.11.2014(updated 21:21 13.11.2014)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated that more than 90 percent of Guantanamo Bay prisoners have no intention to return to the battlefield and he supported decision to close the prison, but not to do it 'at any cost'.

WASHINGTON, November 13 (Sputnik) – More than 90 percent of Guantanamo Bay detainees have no intention of returning to the battlefield, US Defense Secreatry Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

'The Intelligence Community has assessed that more than 90 percent of those detainees [at Guantanamo] had not intended to, or had in fact no evidence of returning to the battlefield,' Hagel said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on efforts to combat the Islamic State.

Hagel added that the Department of Defense (DOD) supports US President Barack Obama's position to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, but said the DOD would not do so 'at any cost' without making sure that every certification and all the other requirements by law are met.

There are currently 148 prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay, which was established in the wake of 9/11 to detain suspected terrorists and is located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Most recently, Kuwaiti man Fawzi al-Odah tied to al-Qaeda was released from the notorious facility on November 5 after spending about 13 years in detention.

The majority of the members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, oppose the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and moving prisoners to other facilities in the United States.

In October, the Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that the Obama administration was weighing options to override a congressional ban on transferring Guantanamo detainees to US soil.

Closing the controversial prison would allow the president to finally achieve a campaign promise made in 2008, despite the fact that, according to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans oppose shutting it down.


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