The Trump administration has indicated that it is unlikely to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison for dangerous terror suspects, saying it is serving a “healthy purpose” towards the national security.
“I think he (President Donald Trump) has made very clear though, that he believes that Guantanamo Bay does serve a very, very healthy purpose in our national security and making sure that we don’t bring terrorists to our seas,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday.
Asked whether the terror suspects picked from overseas would be shifted to Guantanamo Bay, he said, “I’m not gonna get into what we may or may not do in the future.”
“As the president has said very clearly before, we don’t telegraph what we’re gonna do,” he added.
Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had made it a top priority to close down the Guantanamo Bay, as he believed that its existence makes the United States unsafe but was unable to do so, mainly due to the opposition from the Congress.
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
The camp was established by former President George W Bush’s administration in 2002 during his ‘war on terror’ in response to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
During Bush’s administration, the United States claimed that Gitmo detainees were not on US soil and therefore not covered by the US Constitution, and that “enemy combatant” status meant they could be denied some legal protections.
There are 41 detainees at the camp as of January 2017. More than 700 detainees have been held at Guantanamo since it opened.