Virginia Jail May Become Next Home for Gitmo Detainees

A Virginia jail could be the next home for Guantanamo Bay inmates.

The maximum security jail in Alexandria, Va. -- home to approximately 460 inmates -- is under contract to take federal inmates who are tried at the courthouse just a few blocks away.

Among them could be former Al Qaeda operatives detained in Guantanamo Bay like Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda's operations chief, or Abd Al-Nashiri, the alleged planner of the U.S.S. Cole attack, Alexandria sheriff Dana Lawhorne told FOX News.

"We are a maximum security jail, so the answer is yes," Lawhorne said when asked about the possibility that Gitmo detainees could be transferred to the jail.

Lawhorne said that although most inmates are booked at city jail on local charges, Al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui was detained there in a separate unit on the third floor for five years.

Lawhorne said he and his team were given specific instructions for Moussaoui's imprisonment, which included no contact with television, radio, or other inmates.

"He had to be isolated. He could not be within earshot -- of television, radios, and other people. It takes a lot of space to accomplish that," Lawhorne said.

The jail, built in 1987, is surrounded by condominiums, government offices, and a luxury hotel just a few hundred feet from the courthouse door.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder two weeks ago, Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican, inquired about the housing and handling of detainees at Alexandria's jail because he said all signs indicate that Gitmo detainees will be transferred there. Holder's office has not yet responded, according to Wolf.

FOX News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.