Barack Obama reportedly plans to transfer up to 18 more inmates out of Guantanamo Bay before the end of his presidency, Reuters reports.
The scheduled release will be the largest single inmate transfer of his presidency. The detainees will reportedly be bound for Italy, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The transfer will still leave nearly 40 inmates at the prison, which will soon be dealt with by President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
One of Obama’s first acts as president was pledging to close the prison within a year — a promise he did not fulfill. Obama maintains the facility is an enduring symbol of shame for the U.S. and is used as a recruitment tool by terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
In the last batch of prisoners released by Obama, all 15 were deemed “High Risk” in Department of Defense (DOD) reviews. Each detainee’s DOD review, according to The New York Times Guantanamo Docket, classified him as “High Risk” and noted “he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests, and its allies.” Several of the detainees were also classified as “HIGH intelligence value.”