A. Of the 166 prisoners currently at Guantánamo, 86 have been approved for release. Nonetheless, in addition to blocking transfers to the US, a defense appropriations amendment also bars any transfer of detainees overseas without congressional approval.
The single largest group of cleared detainees is comprised of citizens of Yemen. Mounting tension and fighting in Yemen and growing concern about Yemen-based militant imam Anwar al-Awlaki and the spin-off group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, prompted the administration to put those transfer plans on hold. Mr. Awlaki was killed in a US drone attack in 2011, but concern about other militants and the stability of the government in Sanaa has kept transfer plans on a back burner.