Pentagon Misses Guantanamo Deadline

The Pentagon has missed a deadline set by President Donald Trump for developing new policies for the transfer of detainees from the battlefield to Guantanamo Bay.

In January, President Trump signed an executive order to keep the disputed detention facility open and ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis to recommend in the course of 90 days how the U.S. should handle individuals captured fighting “in connection with an armed conflict, including policies governing transfer of individuals to U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.”

According to CNN, the recommendations are still being drafted and the Pentagon failed to comply with the deadline.

“The Department of Defense is in the final stages of providing a recommendation to the White House on policies regarding the disposition of individuals captured in connection with an armed conflict. This includes policies governing transfer of individuals to the detention facility at U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay,” an unidentified official told CNN.

Asked about the deadline, Mattis told reporters Monday that “right now I’m not working that issue.” He added that the Trump administration was in contact with detainees’ home countries and that many of them have been stripped of their statues as a result of their decision to join ISIS.

“We have been engaging with their home countries. Home being the country they were a citizen of when they left to go fight. Now, in some cases, those countries have stripped them of their citizenship, so they have a different view as far as what their status is today. So this is not simple,” Mattis said.

“Now that’s being worked principally, of course, by State Department, and we’re giving all the support that we can,” he went on.

U.S. defense officials said that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have captured over 400 foreign fighters during their campaign against ISIS. Among the detainees was a militant with links to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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