The Guantánamo Bay detention facility in Cuba has seen its population continually shrink since 2008 to the point that it now holds only 41 prisoners.
That trend may be about to change.
President Trump has pledged to “load” Guantánamo “up with some bad dudes,” and executive orders he is expected to sign on Thursday will represent a sea change from the last eight years of U.S. policy.
While it is uncertain whether Trump will follow up on his vow, outside groups are preparing for a major battle.
“Our people are ready to mobilize if new people are added to Guantánamo, which hasn’t happened in a long time,” said Elizabeth Beavers, senior campaigner for security with human rights at Amnesty International USA. “That’s something very serious, and I think it would activate people in a robust way.”
The White House has said Trump will act on Guantánamo but has not elaborated with details.
“On Gitmo, I think you’re going to see further action,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. “I don’t want to get ahead of the president, but this is something that has been discussed.”
Asked by The Hill at Tuesday’s briefing whether Trump has ordered the armed forces to start capturing terrorists and bringing them to the facility, Spicer said, “We have nothing on that right now.”