Obama Administration Eyeing Navy Brig in South Carolina for Gitmo Detainees, Sources Say

The Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., is "very much in play" as an option to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees for military commission hearings in the U.S., multiple sources tell Fox News.

Some sources describe the Naval Consolidated Brig -- which has housed at least two enemy combatants since 9/11 -- as a leading option being considered by the task force reviewing the Guantanamo issue.

The two enemy combatants who were held in the Navy brig were eventually transferred to the federal court system. Ali al Marri was sentenced this week for being an Al Qaeda sleeper agent, and the other detainee, Jose Padilla, was sentenced in 2007 to more than 17 years in prison on terror charges.

Sources familiar with the review tell Fox News that Undersecretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Phil Carter was present during a site tour of the Navy brig, conducted in the late-September to early-October timeframe.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who supports closing the facility at Guantanamo Bay, said any plan must be thorough.

"Right now, I am not going to agree to have anybody sent from Gitmo for trial anywhere until we have a comprehensive plan," Graham told Fox News.

If military commission hearings go ahead in the U.S., sources tell Fox News that one scenario is that a "handful" of detainees who are already in the military courts at Guantanamo could be brought stateside as a "trial run" to test the system.

It is believed that a site near the Navy brig, possibly a National Guard site, would need to be refurbished as a venue for the military commissions.

A Defense Department spokeswoman did not deny the substance of the reports from Fox News about the Navy Brig or the site tour. 

"The Department continues to evaluate facilities in the United States as part of its efforts to close the detention facility at GTMO in accordance with the president's executive order," said Major Tanya J. Bradsher, a Defense Department spokeswoman who handles Guantanamo issues.

A military spokesman for the Navy brig in Charleston referred all calls to the Department of Justice in Washington, where the interagency task force is reviewing all issues related to the closure of the Guantanamo detention camps.

The White House says no decision has been made. 

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.