Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) released the following statement this evening on the Obama administration’s decision to delay its plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay:

“I’m glad the Obama administration has shelved this foolish plan.  The Guantanamo Bay prison holds some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.  Bringing them to the United States would not make us safer.  And – as the president’s own attorney general admits – it would violate the law.   

“While this announcement is welcome news, it is clear the White House has no plans to slow its pace of transferring detainees overseas.  Yet we already know that scores of released detainees have returned to the battlefield, adding to the threats posed by groups like ISIS. 

“You’d think the Paris attack, and the countless other ISIS brutalities, would give the Administration pause in its rush to empty Guantanamo.  Tragically, it has not.  And we still don’t have the full story about how six hardened al-Qaeda fighters were released to Uruguay – and allowed to live just six blocks from our embassy – with no real plans to monitor or restrict their activities.  This race to close the prison and dump terrorists on our allies and partners needs to stop.”

NOTE: Chairman Royce has repeatedly expressed concerns to the Obama administration about the 2014 release and transfer of six Guantanamo detainees to Uruguay – and the risks they pose.  Secretary Kerry still has not provided full answers to questions and concerns raised by the Chairman in a May 6, 2015 letter.

Additionally, in its most recent report, the Obama administration’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that 30 percent of former Guantanamo detainees are “confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorist activities after release.”