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Pres. Obama Renews Pledge to Close Gitmo

By Kamika Dunlap on January 11, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As the attempted terror attack on a plane arriving in Detroit has heightened concerns about Yemen, President Obama has renewed his pledged to shut down the Gitmo bay detention center.

According to the Associated Press, White House officials said the government will not send additional detainees from Gitmo Bay detention center to Yemen for now, which could increase the number of inmates to be held at a planned prison for terror suspects in Illinois at Thomson Correctional Center.

Nearly half of the 198 detainees who are left at Guantanamo are from Yemen.

As previously discussed, a 23-year-old Nigerian passenger, who claimed to be acting on instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, allegedly attempted to blow up a Detroit bound plane on Christmas.

Obama said the intelligence and law-enforcement reviews of the terror plot would be completed this week and additional security measures would be announced in the coming days.

Since the attempted terror plot to bring down an airplane on Christmas Day, the Transportation Security Administration instructed airlines on Monday to begin conducting full-body searches for passengers bound for the United States from Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and 10 other countries.

The Caucus, a New York Times blog raises the point that whatever the symbolic arguments for closing Guantanamo, moving detainees to maximum security prisons in the United States, let alone freeing some of them, faces a huge barrier, raising "not in my backyard" sensitivities any place they might be sent.

President Obama however ordered the Guantanamo detention facility closed in a year a deadline that is now only weeks away and will not be met. As previously discussed, to close the facility, the government still must refurbish the prison in Illinois to hold prisoners, put others on trial, and send some abroad.

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