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Obama to put the case for Guantanamo closure

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Obama to put the case for Guantanamo closure


President Barack Obama will today try to revive his plan to close Guantanamo Bay. He will deliver a speech in Washington hoping to secure public support for the camp’s closure and persuade Congress to give him the funds he will need.

Yesterday the Senate roundly rejected Obama’s proposal to have the prison shut down, amid fears that transferring terrorist suspects to US soil would undermine national security. Ninety senators voted to block the 80 million dollars Obama needs for Guantanamo’s closure. Only six voted in favour.

Their decision came after the head of the FBI warned that detainees could pose risks to Americans whether they were eventually released from US prisons or not. Robert S. Mueller III said: “Concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing to terrorists, radicalising others with regard to violent extremism.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is to become the first Guantanamo detainee to stand trial in a US civilian court. The Tanzanian, captured in Pakistan in 2004, is accused of taking part in the 1998 US embassy bombings in east Africa. He is one of 240 prisoners in Guantanamo whom Obama is trying to relocate.

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