WASHINGTON — Donald Trump signed an order on Tuesday to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities open.
During his State of the Union address, Trump said the order will ensure that terrorists captured overseas will be detained as "unlawful enemy combatants."
Trump asked Congress to review military detention policies, "to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists."
The order reverses President Barack Obama's eight-year effort to close Guantanamo Bay. It also fulfills one of Trump's campaign promises to keep GITMO open and "load it up with bad dudes."
Trump stated that terrorists captured from battlefields overseas "should be treated like the terrorists they are."
Trump also recalled reports by the U.S. intelligence community siting a number of terrorists who returned to the battlefield after being released from Guantanamo Bay.
"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi," Trump said.
The detention center was opened in January 2002 by President George W. Bush at the start of the Global War on Terrorism. Over the course of 16 years, the prison has held 780 detainees. Currently, there are 41 detainees remaining in the prison, including Khalid Sheik Muhammad, considered to be the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks.