JOE BIDEN EXPECTS GUANTANAMO PRISON TO CLOSE BEFORE BARACK OBAMA LEAVES OFFICE

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he expected the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would close before President Barack Obama leaves office in January.
‘That is my hope and expectation,’ he told a news conference in Sweden.
The White House has been trying to close the facility since Obama took office but has been stymied by opposition in Congress.
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Inside Guantanamo: This is the custom-built facility where prisoners are currently held 
Inside Guantanamo: This is the custom-built facility where prisoners are currently held 
Detained: These are the facilities where dozens of suspected terrorists are still being held, to the frustration of the Obama administration
Detained: These are the facilities where dozens of suspected terrorists are still being held, to the frustration of the Obama administration
The announcement comes after President Obama’s decision earlier this month to release 15 prisoners from Guantánamo – called ‘Gitmo’ for short by the military – and send them to the United Arab Emirates.
The transfer of 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans marked the single largest release of detainees during the Obama administration.
But the decision was described as ‘reckless’, with Republicans arguing that it puts national security at risk.
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign blasted Obama in a fundraising email Thursday, saying that ‘[a]s president, Trump REFUSES to shut down Gitmo and REFUSES to have foreign radical Islamic terrorists tried in our regular court systems here in America.’ 
‘Americans oppose shutting down Gitmo and releasing terrorists to our shores,’ the email continued. ‘This has to end. And it has to end NOW.’
Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said in a statement: ‘The unclassified report I secured from the Department of Defense demonstrates that these detainees just released are among the worst terrorists who could jeopardize our national security and the lives of our troops.
The Gitmo debate quickly turned political on Thursday as Donald Trump's presidential campaign tried to raise money with aggressive messaging about Biden's admission
The Gitmo debate quickly turned political on Thursday as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign tried to raise money with aggressive messaging about Biden’s admission
‘It is reckless for the administration to continue to release terrorists like these to fulfill a misguided campaign promise to empty and close Guantanamo.’  
Trump has previously said he would be willing to try US citizens at Guantánamo Bay because the country needs a ‘very safe place’ to keep terrorists.
The Republican presidential nominee has previously ruled out closing the Cuban detention facility. 
The Pentagon says 61 detainees now remain at Guantánamo, which was opened in January 2002 to hold foreign fighters suspected of links to the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.
The Yemeni nationals transferred to the UAE include Zahir Umar Hamis bin Hamdun, alleged to be an Al-Qaeda weapons and explosives trainer operating in Afghanistan.
Intervention: Joe Biden, who was speaking in Stockholm, Sweden, at a joint press conference with the country's prime minister, made the unexpected announcement
Intervention: Joe Biden, who was speaking in Stockholm, Sweden, at a joint press conference with the country’s prime minister, made the unexpected announcement
As it was: Guantanamo Bay in 2004, three years after it opened. Biden says his 'hope and expectation' is to have the newer facility which replaced this one closed in January
As it was: Guantanamo Bay in 2004, three years after it opened. Biden says his ‘hope and expectation’ is to have the newer facility which replaced this one closed in January
A Pentagon profile from September 2015 said he expressed dislike of the US, which they identified as ‘an emotion that probably is motivated more by frustration over his continuing detention than by a commitment to global jihad’ .
Also listed was Muhammad Ahmad Said Al Adahi, labelled a chief of Bin Laden’s security force in Kandahar in a leaked military document. 
Once transferred, former inmates are usually freed subject to supervision and undergoing rehabilitation programs. 
During the Bush administration, 532 prisoners were released from Guantanamo, often in large groups to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.           
US Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the Obama administration for recent releases, portraying the freed detainees as ‘hardened terrorists’. 
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says five percent of Guantanamo prisoners released since Obama took office have re-engaged in militant activities and an additional eight percent are suspected of doing so. 
That compares with 21 percent confirmed and 14 percent suspected during the Bush administration.

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