WASHINGTON (AP) – A White House spokesman says the Obama administration hasn’t decided whether or not to release Guantanamo Bay detainees in the United States.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama has made clear “we’re not going to make any decision about transfer or release that threatens the security of this country.”

Asked if that meant he was ruling out releasing any detainees in the United States, Gibbs said: “I’m not ruling it in or ruling it out.”

A tentative plan to release some Guantanamo detainees in the United States drew fierce opposition from Republicans and many Democrats in Congress, forcing the Obama administration to shelve the plan to bring some Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs to Virginia. The Uighur detainees at Guantanamo were found not to be enemy combatants by the Pentagon, but few nations have been willing to accept them, out of fear of angering China.

This past week, four of the 17 Uighurs being held at Guantanamo were sent to Bermuda, and the Pacific islands nation of Palau said it would accept others.

Gibbs told reporters progress has been made this week in the administration’s goal of closing the detention center in Cuba by early next year.

Seven detainees have been shipped out of Guantanamo so far this week.

AP-ES-06-12-09 1457EDT

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