WASHINGTON, United States, Fri – United States President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep America’s detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, open.
He signed it just before presenting his first State of the Union Address on Wednesday, saying that the US must “continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists, wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And in many cases, for them, it will now be Guantanamo Bay.”
The order reverses one signed by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to close the prison.
The American president was adamant the move would help in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda. “In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists only to meet them again on the battlefield, including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, who we captured, who we had, who we released,” he said, referring to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was released from Camp Bucca in Iraq in 2004.
No new prisoners have been sent to Guantanamo in more than a decade, and when Obama left office in 2017, it housed 41 inmates.