With the delayed closure of the detention camp holding 107 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, the United States has put off an announcement about moving many of the detainees to isolated mountainous terrain far inland from the tropics.
While 48 cleared Gitmo residents will likely be transferred to other countries, and 10 are in various stages of legal proceedings, another 49 could be indefinitely jailed stateside — presenting the question of where exactly they will be placed domestically.
The inmates slated to be relocated to the U.S. include dozens not charged with any crime, such as Abu Zubaydah, a "safehouse keeper" subjected to waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. It also includes "high-value" individuals in pre-trial hearings, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said to be the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.
Among the U.S. locations considered by Pentagon officials is the Federal Correctional Complex outside Florence, Colorado, which is home to the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX). Run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, one wing of the complex 100 miles south of Denver has “supermax” security classification and hosts a who’s who America’s most feared prisoners. It is often referred to as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”
Opened in 1994, ADX Florence has underground passageways connecting cellblocks to the lobby. Cells are mostly made of concrete and are completely soundproof to prevent communication. Inmates spend about 23 hours per day alone in their cells, and the window design is designed to make it impossible to know one’s whereabouts within the complex, inhibiting escape planning. Officers deliver meals to prisoners in their cells, and contact with anyone outside of the staff is rare. Guards can instantaneously close all 1,400 steel doors in the event of a disturbance.
Under the current warden, David Berkebile, the 400-plus inmates considered extremely dangerous at the supermax section of ADX Florence are strictly controlled. Among the most high-profile residents are foreigners convicted of carrying out or attempting to commit large-scale violence (1993 World Trade Center and 1998 U.S. embassy bombers), American citizens jailed for domestic attacks (Oklahoma City bomber), gang leaders (Nuestra Familia frontmen), mob bosses (Bonanno Family Crime ring) and double agents (Robert Hanssen of the FBI).
Here's a look at some of the most notable prisoners currently at ADX Florence: