The U.S. Department of Defense says it has declared 14 so-called "high-value" prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility as "enemy combatants," meaning they can be charged and tried before a military tribunal.
The Pentagon made the announcement Thursday, saying Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England approved the change. Those 14 detainees were transferred to Guantanamo from overseas prisons last year.
They include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
President Bush said Thursday at a news conference that it should be the nation's goal to shut down the Guantanamo Bay facility. But he added that part of the delay in doing so is reluctance on the part of other nations to take back some of the detainees.
Guantanamo, built to house detainees in the war on terrorism, holds 355 prisoners. The Pentagon says 80 of those are eligible for release or transfer to another country.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.