World / US and Canada

Pentagon looking for US locations to house Guantanamo detainees

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-21 10:05

WASHINGTON - US defense chief Ash Carter said Thursday the Pentagon is examining domestic sites to transfer detainees currently held without any trials at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amid unrelenting opposition from local officials and lawmakers.

Pentagon teams had already gone to a military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas and would soon travel to a naval brig at Charleston, South Carolina to analyze requirements, Carter said at a Pentagon briefing.

However, the Pentagon's suggestion that a portion of the 116 detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay may be transferred to an location inside South Carolina immediately drew criticism from the state governor Nikki Haley, who called it "a slap in the face to the people of S.C." to ever consider putting "terrorists in our backyard."

"Let's be very, very clear, this is a violation of federal law, " said Haley in a statement. "Congress has never given him (US President Barack Obama) the support to move these terrorists into any of our states. We are absolutely drawing a line that we are not going to allow any terrorists to come into South Carolina."

Haley was not alone in opposing the Obama administration's closure plan of Guantanamo Bay, as a number of influential political figures voiced their opposition to the idea of housing those terror detainees in their home state.

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