A White House spokesman says the Obama administration has not decided whether or not to release Guantanamo Bay detainees in the United States.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday that 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 the state of 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, including three more Friday to Saudi Arabia.
The Justice Department said the trio will be subject to judicial review in Saudi Arabia before they participate in a rehabilitation program administered by the Saudi government.
With the latest transfer, the U.S. has removed 10 detainees from Guantanamo in the past week, sending four to Bermuda, one to Chad, one to Iraq, and one to face trial in New York City. That leaves 229 detainees still at the U.S. military detention center in Cuba.
The three men sent to Saudi Arabia are Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair.