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Closing the Guantanamo Bay facility remains "a national security imperative" despite reports that two of the planners behind the attempted Christmas Day "pants bombing" had been released from Gitmo in 2007, a senior administration official tells Politico.
The official's comment comes after ABC News' Brian Ross reported that two of the four leaders allegedly behind the Al Qaeda plot were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November 2007.
The administration official repeated the White House line that Guantanamo had been used as a rallying cry and recruiting tool, and said that this White House is working diligently on a problem created by the prior administration.
“The President created the Guantanamo Review Task Force to conduct the thorough work that the previous administration did not: to review the relevant information about each detainee, including the threat they pose, to determine whether they should be prosecuted, detained, or transferred," the official said to Politico. "As he has said before, the President will not release any detainee who would endanger the American people. We have worked cooperatively with the government of Yemen to ensure that all appropriate security measures are taken when detainees are transferred.”