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Release No: 524-03
July 18, 2003

Transfer of Detainees Completed

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of 27 detainees for release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to their countries of origin, as well as the arrival of approximately 10 enemy combatants to Guantanamo Bay.

This brings the total number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to approximately 660.

Senior leadership of the Department of Defense, in consultation with other senior U.S. government officials, determined that these detainees either no longer posed a threat to U.S. security or no longer required detention by the United States.

Transfer of detainees can be based on many factors, including law enforcement, intelligence, as well as whether the individual would pose a threat to the United States. At the time of their detention, these enemy combatants posed a threat to U.S. security.

In general terms, the reasons detainees may be transfered are based on the nature of the continuing threat they may pose to U.S. security.

During the course of the War on Terrorism, we expect that there will be other transfers detainees. Because of operational security considerations, no further details will be available.

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