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Pentagon misses deadline for new policies on Guantánamo detainees, transfers: report

Pentagon misses deadline for new policies on Guantánamo detainees, transfers: report
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The Pentagon has reportedly missed a deadline set by President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE to develop policies for the transfer of new detainees from the battlefield to Guantánamo Bay.

Trump in January signed an executive order keeping the controversial detention facility open, and ordered Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisRejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction MORE to recommend how the U.S. should handle individuals captured fighting “in connection with an armed conflict, including policies governing transfer of individuals to U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay.”

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Defense officials told CNN that these recommendations are still in the works, and that the Pentagon missed Tuesday's deadline.

"The Department of Defense is in the final stages of providing a recommendation to the White House on policies regarding the disposition of individuals captured in connection with an armed conflict. This includes policies governing transfer of individuals to the detention facility at US Naval Station Guantánamo Bay," an unidentified official said Tuesday.

Mattis added to reporters Monday night that he was unconcerned with the deadline.

"Right now I'm not working that issue," he said.

The defense chief went on to say that the Trump administration is in contact with detainees' home countries to determine citizenship status of captured Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters, noting that many have had their status stripped due to their decision to join the terrorist group.

"We have been engaging with their home countries. Home being the country they were a citizen of when they left to go fight. Now, in some cases, those countries have stripped them of their citizenship, so they have a different view as far as what their status is today. So this is not simple," Mattis said.

"Now that's being worked principally, of course, by State Department, and we're giving all the support that we can," he adds.