The outer security perimeter of Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
One hundred sixty-nine detainees remain in custody on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Established in 1903 in Eastern Cuba, about 500 miles from Miami, it is the oldest U.S. base overseas and the only one located in a communist country.
The detention facility opened in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks and became the central prison for suspected terrorists captured in the so-called War on Terror. Nearly 800 people have been held at Gitmo. Six hundred have been released and eight have died in custody.
The Department of Justice under President George W. Bush decided detainees held at Gitmo were beyond U.S. legal jurisdiction and not entitled to trials in civilian courts.
The Bush administration set up a system of military commissions to try detainees, but a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down the commissions and granted some protection for detainees under the Geneva Conventions.
President Barack Obama promised and initially tried to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but it remains active 10 years after its opening.
In March 2011, Obama issued an executive order that “will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security,” according to The Washington Post.