USS Cole bomb suspect faces Guantanamo tribunal | world | Hindustan Times
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USS Cole bomb suspect faces Guantanamo tribunal

The main suspect in the USS Cole bombing will be arraigned today at Guantanamo, in the first case under a US military tribunal since President Barack Obama reversed course and ordered their resumption. Saudi-born Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, faces the death penalty for allegedly planning and preparing the October 2000 attack on the US Navy destroyer in Yemen's port of Aden that killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 more.

world Updated: Nov 09, 2011 14:05 IST

The main suspect in the USS Cole bombing will be arraigned today at Guantanamo, in the first case under a US military tribunal since President Barack Obama reversed course and ordered their resumption. Saudi-born Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, faces the death penalty for allegedly planning and preparing the October 2000 attack on the US Navy destroyer in Yemen's port of Aden that killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 more.

It will be the first public appearance in years for a terror suspect who has been essentially invisible since his 2002 capture in the Gulf and subsequent incarceration at secret CIA prisons. Nashiri, who is believed to have met several times with late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is accused of murder, acts of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and attacks against civilians.

The Pentagon believes he bought the small boat and explosives used in the Cole attack. He is also accused of involvement in a January 2000 attempted attack against another American warship in Aden, the USS The Sullivans, and a French oil tanker near Yemen. Along with five men accused of orchestrating the attacks of September 11, 2001, Nashiri is among the "high-value detainees" held by the United States, and he could be the first terror suspect sentenced to death by a military court under the Obama administration.

A congressional investigation found that Nashiri was waterboarded while in custody, and that handlers loaded a gun and powered a drill near his head. Obama has denounced waterboarding -- a type of simulated or near-drowning -- as torture, and Nashiri's defense team said yesterday that the US had lost "all moral authority" to try their client by torturing him in a secret prison.