White House mulls making Bagram the new Gitmo

The US detention center at Bagram in Afghanistan could be expanded into a military prison for terrorist suspects detained around the world under one option being considered as White House officials try to find an alternative to Guantánamo Bay, the London Times reports March 22. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, has voiced his opposition, because of the negative publicity it would generate.

Bagram currently houses about 800 detainees, including a small number who were arrested outside Afghanistan under the Bush administration. Under current plans, Bagram is to be handed over to the Afghan government next year. The option under review is apparently for the US military to retain control over one section of the prison for suspects detained outside Afghanistan.

See our last posts on Afghanistan and the detainment controversy.

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  1. Bagram airbase hit during Obama visit
    From Press TV, March 29:

    The US Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan has been hit by rockets during an official visit by President Barack Obama to the war-torn country.

    Afghan officials told Press TV on Monday that three rockets targeted the airfield.

    No damages or casualties have been reported; however, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who claimed responsibility for the attack, said there were serious casualties inside the base.

    He added that the incident occurred as the US president was leaving Bagram.

    Obama landed at Bagram Air Base on Sunday and left Afghanistan after six hours. He met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US troops during his unannounced visit.