Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters on Monday there are detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison who are so dangerous that it would not be safe to transfer them outside the care of the United States.
Carter and President Obama have drawn up a plan to move many of the remaining 91 detainees into the custody of foreign governments. Detainees not cleared for transfer overseas—those who Carter describes as too dangerous to go elsewhere—would be moved stateside in an effort to close the detention facility.
Carter made his comment while holding a press briefing at the Pentagon along with Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A reporter asked Carter if the United States is thinking of transferring the Guantanamo Bay naval base back to the Cuban government, which he denied while drawing a distinction between the naval base and the detention facility.
“The base is separate from the detention facility,” Carter said in response. “The base is in a strategic location. We’ve had it for a long time. It’s important to us, and we intend to hold onto it.”