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Most released Guantanamo Bay detainees unlikely to return to terrorism, says State Department

The U.S. Department of State commented Monday on its stance toward Guantanamo Bay and the likelihood of released detainees to return to terrorist activities.
By JC Finley   |   June 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- Amidst questions regarding the negotiated release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the State Department reiterated Monday that the administration remains committed to closing Guantanamo Bay "responsibly."

Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf explained that the administration's resolve to close the controversial prison was made "not just because it's the right thing to do... but because it hurts our national security every day that that prison is open."

The remaining detainees, she said, will either be returned or prosecuted. Of those that are released, like the five Taliban leaders recently returned to Qatar in exchange for the release of Bergdahl, Harf said it is unlikely many will resume terrorist activities.

According to the State Department, there is a 6 percent recidivism rate amongst Guantanamo Bay detainees released by the Obama administration. Under the Bush administration, Harf noted, recidivism was 18.6 percent. She attributed the decrease to more stringent standards applied to detainee releases.

"... it's important to remember that under the rules we're operating under -- the ones we released those five under to Qatar -- we have put in place very stringent rules, and as Secretary Kerry said over the weekend... we have ways to find them if they try to re-engage, and we have ways to bring them to justice if they do."

Harf declined to elaborate about the mechanisms for monitoring detainees released from Guantanamo, and how such international cooperation would be pursued to prosecute 're-engagement.'

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