Prisoners began arriving at Guantanamo in January 2002. Four years later, the Supreme Court rejected president George W. Bush's plan to try detainees before military commissions. Obama campaigned for president in 2008 pledging to close Guantanamo, and just after taking office, he ordered it closed.
Nearly 800 people have been held at the prison at one time or another, and nine have died there, including seven suicides.
Of the 91 detainees still there, half are facing criminal charges, while 35 have been deemed eligible for transfer to other countries. Another 10 have been determined to be "unreleasable." Three have been convicted in the military commissions system, one of whom has been sentenced. Many have gone on hunger strikes to protest their confinement and the conditions at the prison.
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The prisoners who remain there today are from more than a dozen countries, including 52 from Yemen.
Mohammed, a Pakistani citizen, is perhaps the most notorious of all Guantanamo detainees. He was "the principal architect" of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, and was captured in his home country in March 2003. He is one of a handful of al-Qaida operatives whom the CIA has admitted waterboarding during interrogations.
Mohammed has been at Guantanamo since 2006. After several months of detention there, he not only admitted organizing the 9/11 attacks, but also having a hand in the the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, and Richard Reid's attempted shoebombing.
Zubaydah, suspected of being an al-Qaida operative and 9/11 plotter, is considered by human rights advocates as the poster boy of American torture, having been waterboarded and lost an eye while held by the CIA after his capture in 2002. The Pakistani citizen's attempts to challenge his detention, and see his case move through the legal system, have been stalled for years. He has been held at Guantanamo since 2006.
Hikimi, of Yemen, is suspected of being a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, and of fighting for the Taliban against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As a close bin Laden associate, he was known in Guantanamo as one of the so-called "Dirty 30," detainees who were the best potential sources of information about the al-Qaida leader and subject to some of the harshest interrogation methods.
Slahi, a citizen of Mauritania, has been held at Guantanamo since 2002. He has never been charged with a crime, although he has admitted loyalty to Al Qaeda in the early 1990s.
He was subject to harsh interrogation methods — including beatings, exposure to extreme heat and cold, and being blasted with heavy metal music while naked and under strobe lights,. He is famous for the publication of his memoir, "Guantanamo Diary," based on his writings from prison, which was critically praised and became a bestseller. He has never seen a copy of it.
A former al-Qaida propaganda chief from Yemen, Bahlul arrived in Guantanamo on the day it opened in January 2002. He was found guilty of terrorism charges by a military panel at Guantanamo that sentenced him to life at the prison. But that conviction was overturned by a civilian court.
Qahtani, a Saudi, allegedly planned to participate in the 9/11 attacks as the so-called 20th hijacker, but was blocked from entering the United States. He was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo when it opened in January 2002. His interrogation was so harsh — isolation, sleep deprivation, exposure to life threatening cold that — that the head of military commissions said he’d been tortured — the first such admission by a U.S. official. Because of that, he was not recommended for prosecution. But those charges may be refiled.
Jon Schuppe writes about crime, justice and related matters for NBC News.