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The Obama administration is responsible for releasing from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp some 75 percent of the inmates being held there, according to statistics published by the Pentagon.
Obama freed during his presidency more than 100 accused terrorists being held in the prison for their crimes. The total population at Gitmo now stands at 59, down from a high of 242.
This disclosure comes amid reports by the U.S. intelligence community that the number of released Gitmo inmates who return to terrorism has doubled since July 2015.
The Obama administration remains committed to emptying the prison and closing Gitmo by the end of its term, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
“I remain convinced that the responsible closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay will benefit our national security,” Carter wrote in a wide-ranging exit memo describing the outgoing administration’s defense policies.
“DoD has reduced the detainee population by nearly 75 percent, from 242 detainees in January 2009 to 59 today,” according to Carter.
Carter said it is impossible to fully empty the prison due to security concerns about the remaining detainees.
“There are individuals remaining at the detention facility whom it would not be safe to transfer,” according to Carter. “For this reason, in February 2016 the White House submitted a plan to Congress for the permanent closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo and an appropriate, secure, alternative location for housing those detainees in the United States. The next Administration should act to continue this progress and achieve the responsible closure of the Guantanamo detention facility.”