President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to require that a military prison in Guantanamo Bay be closed within one year.
The controversial detention facility has become a cause of protest for human rights advocates who say prisoners were tortured while in detention.
Throughout his campaign for the President's office, Obama had vowed to shut down the prison, saying that an especially created military tribunal system was not necessary to try the suspected terrorists. He said the U.S. federal criminal justice system was adequate.
Three other executive orders signed today in effect banned torture, ordered policy reviews of detentions and a review of cases and ordered the delay of a trial of a legal U.S. resident contesting his detention as an enemy combatant.