Saudi charged as mastermind of 2000 bombing on USS Cole
U. S. military prosecutors Wednesday charged one of the most prominent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and said they would seek the death penalty because of his suspected planning of the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — U.S. military prosecutors Wednesday charged one of the most prominent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and said they would seek the death penalty because of his suspected planning of the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, one of 15 so-called high-value detainees at Guantánamo, was charged with murder and other law-of-war violations. His case marks the first time the Obama administration has sought the death penalty for a detainee.
Military officials allege that al-Nashiri, a Saudi citizen of Yemeni descent, joined al-Qaida in 1998 and that he was a longtime associate of Osama bin Laden. The military said he arranged for two suicide bombers to pull alongside the USS Cole on Oct. 12, 2000, in an explosive-laden boat and detonate it. The blast ripped a 30-foot-by-30-foot hole in the side of the ship. Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed and 40 were wounded.
Al-Nashiri also was charged Wednesday with organizing an attack on a French oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden that resulted in the death of a crew member.
Al-Nashiri, 46, was captured in the United Arab Emirates in October 2002 and taken into CIA custody. He was held at CIA secret prisons overseas, where he was waterboarded and subject to mock executions, according to government reports. According to the CIA, interrogators also threatened to harm his family.
That history could complicate his prosecution.
He was transferred to the military-detention center at Guantánamo in September 2006.
The Military Commissions Act of 2009 prohibits using statements taken through torture. "No evidence obtained by torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be admissible in a military commission," said Army Lt. Col. Tanya Bradsher, citing the act.
Al-Nashiri had been previously charged with capital murder under the Bush administration, but those charges were withdrawn when President Obama suspended all proceedings at Guantánamo soon after being sworn in.
The administration's plans to close the facility have since faltered. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently lifted a hold on military prosecutors bringing fresh charges against detainees.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.