President Obama has reiterated his intention to close the jail at Guantanamo Bay.
In a speech in Washington, he sought to reassure senators who yesterday voted overwhelmingly to block the closure amid fears terrorist suspects on US soil would pose a threat. He insisted the US’s own maximum security prisons would keep the public safe from convicted terrorists.
“We are not going to release anyone if it will endanger our national security nor we will release detainees within the United States of America who endanger American people. Where demanded by justice and national security, we will seek to transfer some detainees to the same type of facilities in which we hold all manner of dangerous and violent criminals within our borders, namely highly secure prisons that ensure the public safety.”
Obama said other detainees in Guantanamo who could not be tried in federal courts would face military commissions. These commissions, though, he added, would have to be reformed.
He called the detention centre a “misguided experiment” that had recruited more terrorists than it had detained.