New statistics show 196 former Guantanamo detainees are suspected or confirmed to have returned to insurgent or terrorist activities, a report released Thursday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirms.
The percent of those suspected in re-engaging with militants, since statistics were last released in March, rose to 12.1 percent, — a 1.4 percent increase — while the percent of confirmed recidivists remained level at 17.9 percent.
Since 2009, a total of 653 detainees have been released or transferred to other facilities from the Cuba-based military prison.
According to the ODNI, trends indicate more detainees are likely to re-engage after they are transferred, especially if moved to countries with political unrest.
President Obama continues to push to shut down the facility, much to the dismay of Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who don’t support bringing terrorist suspects on U.S. soil or sending them to their native countries.
The Pentagon announced it’s considering bases in Kansas and South Carolina as alternatives for the prison, which currently holds 116 detainees.
“The notion that Kansas, South Carolina or any other state would be an ideal home for terrorist detainees is preposterous,” Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “Transferring these prisoners to the mainland puts the well-being of states in danger, posing security risks to the public and wasting taxpayer dollars.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback are threatening to sue the administration if the detainees are brought to their states.
The 2016 Federal Defense bill in both houses of Congress have clauses prohibiting the transfer or release of prisoners residing at Guantanamo into the United States — however the Senate’s version allows for the restriction to be lifted if the executive branch submits a plan that’s approved by Congress.