WASHINGTON - The number of former Guantanamo Bay prison inmates who are suspected of having returned to fighting for militants doubled to 12 in the six months through January, the Obama administration said on Monday.
The increase could fuel Republican attacks on Democratic President Barack Obama's plan to close the US military prison in Cuba, which has come to symbolize aggressive detention practices following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and opened the United States to accusations of torture. Most detainees have been held without trial for more than a decade.
The closure plan, drawn up by the Pentagon and which requires approval by Congress, proposes 13 potential sites on U.S. soil to hold 30-60 detainees in maximum-security prisons.
According to figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), as of Jan 15 the United States also had confirmed that seven out of 144 Guantanamo prisoners who were freed since Obama took office in January 2009 have returned to fighting.