Officials: Thomson, Illinois will house suspected terrorists - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials: Thomson, Illinois will house suspected terrorists

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THOMSON, ILLINOIS (KWWL) -- An announcement Tuesday would bring suspected terrorists within an hour's drive of eastern Iowa. White House officials confirm: President Barack Obama has asked the government to buy Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Today the deal could be finalized. Thomson is about 50 miles from Dubuque, and just more than 80 miles from Cedar Rapids.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Richard Durbin are expected to make the announcement with White House administration Tuesday afternoon.

The Thomson Center would house federal prisoners and up to 100 suspected terrorists.

The correctional facility was built in 2001, but has never fully opened due to state budget problems.

There has been worry from some communities and legislators that moving suspected terrorists to Illinois would make the Midwest a terrorist target, but many in Thomson are welcoming an economic boost to the area with well over 2,000 added jobs.

Just across the river, the East Dubuque, Illinois city council voted last week for a resolution in support of the sale. According to our coverage partners at the Telegraph Herald, that's because of hopes for an economic boost, even that far away.

This is all part of the President's plan to close Guantanamo Bay and bring all terrorist suspects to US soil for trial. He signed an executive order within hours of becoming president to begin closing Guantanamo.

Homeland Security officials say Guantanamo Bay detainees would not be released in the United States after trial or prison time. They would all have to go through standard immigration procedures to live in America.

They said that if a detainee cannot be returned to his country because he is likely to be tortured, the U.S. would seek another country to take him. The Obama administration has announced that five detainees will be tried in a New York federal court and more are likely to be tried in the U.S.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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