WASHINGTON — Pentagon teams are examining sites in the United States to move terror detainees currently held at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday.
The first two sites are the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the naval brig at Charleston, S.C., Carter said.
“That does not mean those sites will be chosen,” Carter said.
The teams will look elsewhere for potential sites in the United States, Carter said, but he did not identify them.
There is nothing so far on alternatives to Leavenworth or Charleston, said a senior defense official speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The Pentagon is waiting on a report from the federal Bureau of Prisons on alternatives, the official said.
Carter said there are two types of detainees at Guantanamo: Those who are eligible to be transferred to other nations, and those who must continue to be held.
As long as detainees are held in Guantanamo, Carter said, they remain a focal point for jihadi propaganda and agitation.
There has been no pressure from the White House to transfer detainees at a faster rate, Carter said. “I see it exactly as the president does,” he said.