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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 860-06
September 06, 2006

Defense Department Ordered to Take Custody of High-Value Detainees

          The Department of Defense announced today, that at the direction of the President of the United States it took custody of 14 high-value detainees captured in the War on Terror and placed them under control of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

          These detainees include some of the world’s most vicious terrorist operatives, including those who are alleged to have planned the attacks of Sept. 11, the bombing of USS Cole and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

          These detainees now under DoD custody and control, have been essential to developing U.S. Government knowledge of Al Qaeda’s organizational structures, operations, communications, finances, logistics and criminal activities to include travel routes, safe havens and their intentions to use chemical, biological and nuclear devices in their attacks. Detention and intelligence operations have thwarted attacks and saved lives.

          The newly arrived detainees will be treated appropriately and in accordance with policy and procedures for other DoD detainees at Guantanamo. They will be treated in accordance with U.S. law and international obligations under treaties to include the Convention Against Torture, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act and applicable Department of Defense directives and instructions governing detainee operations.

          Just like previous detainees who have arrived at Guantanamo, these individuals are going through a period of in-processing to help them adjust to detention rules and procedures. These detainees have been given internment serial numbers and will undergo a combatant status review tribunal. The International Committee of the Red Cross will be granted access to these detainees.

         As a result of this latest transfer, there are now approximately 455 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.