The Obama administration intends to transfer 30 of the remaining 80 enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to foreign facilities over the next two months, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
The administration has not yet publicly confirmed the plan, but an anonymous source told the AP the prisoners will be placed in the custody of a variety of foreign governments, including at least one in Europe.
President Barack Obama made closing Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility a major campaign pledge. Attempts to follow through on this plan, however, have brought various legal quandaries, bipartisan opposition in Congress, and a skeptical public. Unable to close the prison outright, the AP reported officials are attempting to empty it of prisoners by pursing new legal strategies.
These strategies are reported to include allowing inmates to enter guilty pleas with federal courts via video teleconference and sending inmates to serve sentences in foreign prisons. (RELATED: Obama Administration Pushed Release Of ‘High Risk’ Bomb Makers From Guantanamo)
Congress is expected to extend a ban on transferring prisoners from Gitmo to U.S. soil later this month. Late last year, the ban — usually included in the annual defense authorization — passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, with 370-58 votes in the House and 91-3 in the Senate.
Over 150 enemy combatants have been released from the naval station during Obama’s presidency. The status of the remaining 50 prisoners remains unclear.
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