Fourth Guantanamo Detainee Is Charged
The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 14, 2004; 3:21 PM
WASHINGTON - The government has charged a fourth prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in connection with alleged terrorist activities, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.
Salim Ahmed Hamdan was charged with conspiracy to commit attacks on civilians, said the spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita. The charge would mean Hamdan would face a military tribunal.
Officials have previously identified a Yemeni named Salim Ahmed Salim Hamdan as a prisoner at Guantanamo. His military lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Swift, has said Hamdan acknowledged being a driver within Osama bin Laden's organization in pre-Sept. 11 Afghanistan but denied taking part in terrorist activities.
A federal lawsuit already pending in Seattle challenges the lawfulness of tribunals on behalf of Hamdan.
Some 15 people at Guantanamo have been identified as potential defendants for military tribunals. Hamdan is the fourth to be charged.
The other three are David Hicks of Australia, Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al Bahlul of Yemen and Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi of Sudan.
According to U.S. allegations, Hicks was a cowboy who converted to Islam and fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, al Bahlul was a bodyguard and communications expert and al Qosi worked was an al-Qaida accountant and later served as bin Laden's bodyguard, driver and cook.
None of the three is specifically accused of killing Americans.
The Pentagon has announced a five-member tribunal will try suspects at Guantanamo. The trials would be the first convened by the United States in nearly 60 years.
Military tribunals are reserved for foreign-born captives and have lower standards for prosecution than American civilian courts. Defense lawyers contend the military tribunal process is unfair.
© 2004 The Associated Press