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US files charges against Guantanamo inmate

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 12:03

Washington: The Pentagon announced Monday that war crime charges carrying a life sentence have been brought against an Iraqi held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is accused of "perfidy" for having allegedly worked with late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to attack US and coalition forces as well as civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is also said to have served as an intermediary between Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups like the Taliban.

Iraqi faces life in prison if convicted by a military commission tribunal.

The charges marked the second time in nine months that an indictment has been brought against one of the 166 prisoners that remain at the US military-run prison in Cuba.

They also came as President Barack Obama has renewed a pledge to shut down the facility, where nearly two thirds of the prisoners are waging a hunger strike to protest their open-ended detention.

Iraqi was described as a senior member of Al-Qaeda. He was transferred to Guantanamo in April 2007, namely to Camp 7, reserved for "high value" detainees, including the five accused in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In a statement issued when he was first brought to Guantanamo, the Pentagon said Iraqi had "worked directly with the Taliban to determine responsibility and lines of communication between Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan, specifically with regard to the targeting of US forces."

In August, Saudi suspect Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi was accused of plotting terror attacks against oil interests in Yemen.

Six men have been taken before before military courts since these were reformed in 2009: the five 9/11 suspects and the accused mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. They face the death penalty if convicted.

So far, seven detainees have been convicted by a court martial since the prison opened in January 2002. The prison has held as many as 779 men at the same time.

A Guantanamo prison spokesman said that 104 inmates have been on a hunger strike for more than four months, including 41 who are being force-fed. Of the total, 86 have not been tried or charged.


First Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 11:43

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