NEW YORK The White House is considering whether to detain international terrorism suspects at a US military base in Afghanistan, according to a major American newspaper, which cited senior US officials as saying that the move would lead to another prison with the same purpose as Guantanamo Bay. The idea, which would require approval by President Barack Obama, already has drawn resistance from within the government. Gen Stanley McCrystal, the top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and other senior officials strongly oppose it, fearing that expansion of the US detention facility at Bagram air base could make the job of stabilising the country even tougher, The Los Angeles Times said. The Obama administration has announced plans to close the notorious Gitmo prison. That the option of detaining suspects captured outside Afghanistan at Bagram is being contemplated reflects a recognition by the Obama administration that it has few other places to hold and interrogate foreign prisoners without giving them access to the US court system, the officials were cited as saying. Without a location outside the United States for sending prisoners, the administration must resort to turning the suspects over to foreign governments, bringing them to the US or even killing them, The LA Times said. In one case last year, US special operations forces killed an Al Qaeda-linked suspect named Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in a helicopter attack in southern Somalia rather than trying to capture him, a US official said. Officials had debated trying to take him alive but decided against doing so in part because of uncertainty over where to hold him, the official added. US officials find such options unappealing for handling suspects they want to question but lack the evidence to prosecute. For such suspects, a facility such as Bagram remains necessary, officials said, even as they acknowledged that having it in Afghanistan could complicate McCrystals mission. No one particularly likes any of the choices before us right now, but Bagram may be the least bad among them, a senior Defence official was quoted as saying by the Times. With such a move certain to draw furious criticism by allies and human rights groups that the administration was re-creating the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials stressed that no final decisions have been made, and a White House spokesman declined to comment. The idea of using Bagram emerged as the White House National Security Council solicited suggestions on how to handle detainees from the Justice Department, CIA and other government agencies. The procedures for holding suspected terrorists have been largely in limbo as the White House sought to carry out Obamas pledge last year to close the Guantanamo prison and overhaul the US detention process. Although it has been known for some time that the administration was seeking options other than Guantanamo for holding existing prisoners, it has not been reported previously that it was considering Bagram for suspected terrorists that might be captured in the future. Bagram remains controversial in Afghanistan because of documented cases of detainee abuse there, including two deaths, in the early months of the Afghan war. The original prison was recently replaced by a new detention facility on the US base. McCrystal fears that a decision to expand Bagram could be used by extremists for propaganda purposes, as Guantanamo has been, the report said. In addition to the abuse cases, the prison has been criticised for the interrogation techniques used there and the amount of time suspects have been detained without trial. Gen McCrystals singular focus is on making sure our military campaign is successful, the senior Defence official said. Anything that potentially complicates that is something they are reluctant to embrace. There are about 800 prisoners at Bagram, but fewer than 10 are foreign fighters not captured in Afghanistan or in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, according to a Defence official.