WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of detainees freed from the U.S. Guantanamo detention camp who are suspected of "re-engaging" with militant groups overseas increased over the first six months of 2015, the Obama administration said on Thursday.
Figures released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence showed that, as of July this year, of 121 detainees released since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, six were confirmed to have gone back to the battlefield and a further six were suspected of having done so.
Figures released in January had shown that Obama had released a total of 115 Guantanamo inmates, six of whom had returned to the battlefield, but only one of whom was then "suspected of re-engaging."
Between January and July this year the administration released six detainees.
The data did not identify any individual detainees. The detention facility for terrorism suspects at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, which opened after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, now holds 116 prisoners.
The administration of Obama, a Democrat, has said the number of those who returned to fight after being transferred out of Guantanamo under his presidency is lower than under his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, who set up the facility.
Obama has vowed to close Guantanamo before he leaves office in January 2017 but he is hampered by a slow bureaucratic process and by laws passed by Republicans in Congress barring the transfer of detainees to prisons on U.S. soil.
Obama is due to submit a report to Congress soon outlining a new plan for closing the facility.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)