The United States is holding about 2,500 detainees captured in operations against al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist forces, President Obama told congressional leaders in a letter Thursday.
The detainees, nearly all of whom are being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, “are believed to pose a continuing threat to the United States and its interests,” Mr. Obama wrote. The number of detainees there has nearly tripled in the three years since Mr. Obama took office.
A total of 170 detainees are still being held at Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. Mr. Obama, who pledged to close the facility when he took office, this week backed away from vetoing a new law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil who could then be sent to Guantanamo Bay.
The letter to Congress provided an update of U.S. military operations overseas. There are about 93,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The president also said there are about 100 U.S. troops in Uganda on the mission to “apprehend or remove” Joseph Kony, leader of the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army.