Despite a resolution requesting Guantanamo Bay inmates be kept out of Terre Haute’s federal penitentiary passing out of the state senate committee this week, Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said there has never been an indication any of the prisoners will be coming to his city.
The non-binding resolution is co-sponsored by 12 Republican lawmakers, none of whom hail from the Terre Haute area. The resolution asks President Barack Obama to avoid sending the inmates to Indiana. The resolution suggests that doing so could place Indiana at risk for future terrorist attacks.
Bennett said even if Guantanamo inmates are sent to Terre Haute, the penitentiary can handle the job.
“They’ve already got terrorists down here. There are already all kinds of unsavory characters in our local prison,” Bennett said. ” If they brought a few more prisoners here, more than likely we wouldn’t even know that. And it wouldn’t be a significant local issue, any more than it is today. You know, we get whomever they send.”
The resolution carries no power because the state does not have authority over federal prisons. The facility currently houses John Walker Lindh, commonly known as the “American Taliban,” who was convicted of fighting against American forces in Afghanistan.
Rumors hinting that some of the 250 inmates could be coming to the Wabash Valley started after President Obama ordered Gitmo’s closure last month.