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US Attorney General 'Not Sure' if Guantánamo Will Shut by 2013

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he was not sure if the prison holding terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba would be closed by the end of President Barack Obama's first term.

"I don't know," Mr Holder told a House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee. "We will do all that we can."

President Obama believes the prison serves as a recruiting tool for anti-American militants (Photo: GETTY) Mr Holder declined to offer any new details about plans on how the administration will prosecute terrorism suspects held at the Guantánamo Bay prison, but he said repeatedly that the administration still planned to close the facility.

The U.S. Congress has barred the Obama administration from bringing any detainees to U.S. soil for prosecution or detention, significantly hampering the effort to close the prison.

Obama administration officials have said the prison serves as a recruiting tool for anti-American militants and has made it hard to negotiate with some U.S. allies to take in detainees who have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Republicans and even some of Obama's fellow Democrats have opposed bringing terrorism suspects to U.S. soil for prosecution in traditional federal courts and instead want them tried in special military commissions at the Guantánamo prison.

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