WASHINGTON — Terror suspects who have been held but released from Guantanamo Bay are increasingly returning to the fight against the United States and its allies, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Sixty-one detainees released from the U.S. Navy base prison in Cuba are believed to have rejoined the fight, said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, citing data from December. That's up from 37 as of March 2008, he said.
The new figures come as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to issue an executive order during his first week in office to close the controversial prison. It's unlikely, however, that the Guantanamo detention facility will be closed anytime soon as Obama weighs what to do with the estimated 250 al-Qaida, Taliban or other foreign fighter suspects still there.
About 520 Guantanamo detainees have been released from custody or transferred to prisons elsewhere in the world.
A Pentagon tally of the detainees released show that 122 were transferred from Guantanamo in 2007, more than any other year so far.
"There clearly are people who are being held at Guantanamo who are still bent on doing harm to America, Americans, and our allies," Morrell told reporters at the Pentagon. "So there will have to be some solution for the likes of them, and that is among the thorny issues that the president-elect and his new team are carefully considering."....