WASHINGTON — Over the years, the Pentagon has sworn out military commission charges against 26 detainees at Guantanamo. Here's how those cases stand in early 2010 following Attorney General Eric Holder's Nov. 13, 2009 announcement that five 9/11 conspirators will be prosecuted in civilian court in New York.
Three detainees — so-called Australian Taliban David Hicks, Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan of Yemen, and Al Qaeda media secretary Ali Hamza al Bahlul — have been convicted of war crimes, Hicks in a plea deal that sent him home to serve out his sentence. Both Hicks and Hamdan are now free in their home countries; Bahlul was sentenced to life in prison and is the only convicted war criminal at Guantánamo, segregated from the other prisoners.
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Six detainees were alleged to be 9/11 conspirators. Five of them, all former CIA detainees, will now face trial in New York. The military dropped charges against the sixth, Mohammed al Qahtani, a Saudi, in November 2008 after Pentagon official Susan Crawford, who must approve all military commission prosecutions, determined that Qahtani had been tortured in Guantanamo and could not be tried.
Another detainee, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, accused as a co-conspirator in the 1998 East Africa U.S. Embassies bombings, was transferred to New York earlier this year for a federal trial.
The U.S. withdrew charges against detainee Mohammed Jawad, accused of throwing a grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers and their translator in Kabul, after a military judge ruled that his case was built on a tortured confession extracted by Afghan police before his transfer to Guantánamo. Jawad returned home in September after a U.S. District Judge in Washington, D.C. ordered his reease.
Charges of supporting al Qaeda were dropped early this year against Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian who lived in Great Britain, after the Obama administration agreed to return him to Great Britain.
Another detainee, Fouad al Rabia, accused of being Osama bin Laden's logistics officer at the battle of Tora Bora, was repatriated to his native Kuwait Dec. 9, 2009, by order of a federal judge who reviewe dthe evidence against him in Washington D.C. The military commission charges were dismissed once he was evacuated from the U.S. Navy base -- in an executive jet owned by the oil state's emir.
The Pentagon prosecutor also dropped charges against Mohammed Hashim, accused of spying in Afghanistan for al Qaeda, after a Obama administration task force included him in a Dec. 20. 2009 transfer of 12 detainees -- six to Yemen, four to Afghanistan, and two to Somaliland. No judge had heard the case but a Justice Department statement said his repatriation was "consistent with the national security interests of the United States."
HEADED FOR TRIAL
A Justice Department review has authorized seven detainees for trials by military commission.
Abd al Rahim al Nashiri of Yemen, accused of plotting the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole off Aden, Yemen, that killed 17 U.S. sailors, in what could be a death-penalty prosecution.
Ibrahim al Qosi of Sudan, accused of serving as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and an al Qaeda mortar operator in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.
Omar Khadr of Canada, who allegedly threw a grenade in July 2002 that killed a U.S. soldier during an American assault on a suspected al Qaeda compound in Khost, Afghanistan. Khadr was 15 at the time so prosecutors chose not to pursue a death-penalty prosecution.
Ahmed al Darbi of Saudi Arabia, accused of plotting a never realized al Qaeda attack on a ship in the Strait of Hormuz.
Noor Uthman Mohammed of Sudan, who was captured in an alleged al Qaida safehouse in Pakistan in 2002.
Mohammed Kamin of Afghanistan, accused of a single charge, providing material support for terror, for allegedly supporting al Qaeda and planting mines in Afghanistan.
Obaidullah, whose prosecution was approved by Holder, according to a Jan. 6, 2010 federal court filing, for allegedly possessing anti-tank mines during the U.S. invasion.
INITIAL CHARGES FILED
Five other detainees have had charges sworn out against them, but those charges have not yet been approved by Crawford, the Pentagon so-called convening authority. Until that step is taken, they cannot go before a military judge for arraignment and eventual trial.
Those detainees are:
Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed al Kandari of Kuwait, charged with supporting al Qaeda by attending a training camp and producing recruiting tapes;
Tarek Mahmoud El Sawah of Egypt, charged with being an al Qaeda trainer;
Jabran Said Bin al Qahtani of Saudi , accused of undergoing al Qaeda training and plotting to plant road side charges in Afghanistan
Sufiyan Barhoumi of Algeria, charged in the same conspiracy as Qahtani.
Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi of Algeria, charged in the same conspiracy as Qahtani