Guantanamo Bay, colloquially known as Gitmo, has been used to detain terrorist suspects since 2002. Prisoners held there have frequently not been formally charged but have been deemed too dangerous to release. Although the order was issued in 2009, the camp was never closed.
“In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield,” Trump said during the Tuesday night State of the Union address, in which he announced the move. He told Congress he had decided “to reexamine our military detention policy, and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.”
There are currently 41 detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Of these, 26 are held indefinitely under the law of war and are not due for transfer. No new inmates have been added so far under Trump’s tenure, according to Slate.
High profile Gitmo detainees include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11.
Many Gitmo prisoners who were released resumed their terror activities. Shortly before Obama left office, he transferred 10 prisoners to Oman, prompting Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to introduce legislation requiring the government to declassify and publicly release information on the terrorist records of all Gitmo detainees who were released since the November 8, 2016 presidential election.