Guantanamo inmates must remain locked up indefinitely: Pentagon chief

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has said about half the detainees at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba need to be imprisoned “indefinitely” and cannot be released to other nations.

“Some of the people who are there at Guantanamo Bay have to be detained indefinitely, they’ve just got to be locked up,” Carter told troops on Tuesday during a televised interview.

The Pentagon chief said he supports US President Barack Obama’s long-standing goal of closing the prison, but warned that about half of Guantanamo detainees are too dangerous to release to other countries.

“There are some, maybe half or so of the population of Guantanamo Bay, that under conditions that are safe … we may be able to transfer them to some other country,” Carter said.

“But there’s another roughly half of them that are not safe to release, period.”

Currently, 116 inmates remain at the prison, which was opened by former president George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks to house suspected terrorists.

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