Trump to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open, the BBC reports.

Mr Trump announced the move in his State of the Union address.

The decision reverses that of former President Barack Obama, who had said he wanted to close the controversial site “as soon as practicable”.

The facility in Cuba has been used since the 9/11 attacks to detain what Washington calls “enemy combatants”, but only 41 prisoners remain there.

Hundreds were transferred away from the facility during the Obama era.

A White House statement confirmed the order had been signed to resist the detention facility’s closure, and affirmed the administration’s right to detain enemy combatants when necessary.

“Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are,” Mr Trump said during Tuesday’s speech.

“In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists only to meet them again on the battlefield,” he added, giving the Islamic State group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an example.

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