WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said on Wednesday it had begun re-examining the evidence for the continued detention of terrorism suspects held without charge at Guantanamo, Cuba, more than two years after US President Barack Obama directed it to develop a review process.
Pentagon officials said the new Periodic Review Board, created to facilitate the eventual closure of the prison, had not yet considered the case of any individual detainee but was now working on the reviews.
"This process makes an important contribution toward the goal of closing Guantanamo by ensuring that the government has a principled and sustainable process for reviewing and revisiting prior detention determinations in light of the current circumstances and intelligence," a Pentagon statement said.
Between 60 and 80 of the 164 prisoners at Guantanamo cannot be prosecuted for various reasons, but are considered too dangerous to be released.
The government intends to hold them indefinitely without charge under the authorization of military force against al-Qaida and its supporters following the Sept. 11 attacks.
The review board will evaluate the threat to US security posed by individual detainees, not the legality of their imprisonment, the Pentagon statement said. The detainees can challenge the legality of their incarceration through the US court system, it said.