May 29, 2010 / 3:51 AM / 9 years ago

Most at Guantanamo are low-level fighters: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most of the 240 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison when President Barack Obama took office were low-level fighters, with only 24 considered to be involved in plots against the United States, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The newspaper said the report from the Guantanamo Review Task Force recommended 126 of the detainees be transferred either to their homes or a third country; 36 be prosecuted in federal court or by a military commission; and 48 be held indefinitely under the laws of war.

In addition to the 10 percent the report said were involved in plots against the United States, about 20 percent had significant roles with al Qaeda or similar groups.

The Post said the report was finished in January and sent to lawmakers earlier this week.

The Obama administration held on to the report following the attempted bombing of an airplane on Christmas Day because there was little public or congressional interest in its plan to close the facility, the paper said.

Obama ordered the widely maligned detention camp at the U.S. naval base in Cuba shut down shortly after taking office in January 2009. But his plans have been stymied by Congress, including some members of his own Democratic Party.

Former President George W. Bush’s administration opened the prison in January 2002 to hold and interrogate foreign captives suspected of links to terrorism.

There are now about 180 detainees. At its peak, the camp held about 780 detainees.

Writing by Christopher Doering; Editing by Peter Cooney

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