Guantanamo transfers to Yemen are suspended, Obama says
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US President Barack Obama has renewed his vow to close the Guantanamo Bay jail despite deciding to suspend transfers of prisoners of Yemen following the Christmas Day airliner attack.
AFP - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday renewed his vow to close the Guantanamo Bay jail despite deciding to suspend transfers of prisoners to Yemen following the Christmas Day airliner attack.
The White House has been under intense political pressure over the repatriations since the thwarted attack on a US airliner on Christmas Day, which the president has blamed on an Al-Qaeda cell in the Arab country.
Obama said he had spoken to Attorney General Eric Holder and agreed that additional inmates of the camp in Cuba could not go back to Yemen due to the "unsettled situation" there.
"But make no mistake. We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda," Obama said.
"In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
The decision on Guantanamo Bay, where nearly half of the remaining inmates are from Yemen, cast severe doubt on Obama's plan to shutter the camp, and he will this month miss a one-year deadline to carry out that promise.
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