Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gitmo Suspect In Embassy Bombings To Be Tried In New York


As President Obama fights with members of his own party as well as Republicans for the funding to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and send the suspects to the United States for trial comes word that one Gitmo detainee is Manhattan bound.

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian national has been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility since September 2006 on suspicion of participating in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

A federal grand jury indicted Ghailani on Dec. 16, 1998 on charges that he conspired with Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda to kill Americans overseas and for his role in the Aug. 7, 1998, bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, which killed 11 people and injured 85 more. He was subsequently charged with 286 counts for his role, as well, in the murders of more than 200 people in the bombing that same day of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also charged with participating in an al-Qaeda conspiracy to murder, bomb, and maim U.S. civilians elsewhere in the world.

It is charged that Ghailani assisted in the purchase of the Nissan truck as well as the oxygen and acetylene tanks that were used in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania and that he helped load boxes of TNT, cylinder tanks, batteries, detonators, fertilizer and sand bags into the back of the truck in the weeks immediately before the bombing. Ghailani left Africa for Pakistan the night before the bombing.

Ghailani was captured in July 2004. In September 2006, he and several other "high value detainees" were transferred to Guantanamo Bay. Ghailani has remained in Defense Department custody at Guantanamo Bay since that time.

On March 31, 2008, the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commissions charged Ghailani under the Military Commissions Act for his alleged role in the 1998 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania and for his alleged service to al-Qaeda after the bombing, including serving as a document forger, physical trainer at an al-Qaeda camp and as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

No comments: