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Saudi man arraigned in bombing of USS Cole

A Saudi man accused of plotting the 2000 bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole walked into a military courtroom at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Wednesday morning, appearing in public for the first time since his capture nine years ago.

The arraignment of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri marked the beginning of the highest profile military commission trial since the Bush administration created the system after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Al-Nashiri, accused of being a leader of al-Qaida, could be executed if he is convicted, in what would be a first for the Guantanamo tribunals.

Al-Nashiri put off entering pleas to a series of charges — including murder in violation of the laws of war and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism — related to the Cole, a plot to attack another U.S. warship and an attack against a French supertanker.

The bombing of the Cole, as it was moored in a harbor off Aden, Yemen, killed 17 sailors.

Al-Nashiri's case is the first new case to move forward under President Barack Obama, who shut down the Bush administration's tribunals in one of his first acts after taking office.

Saudi man arraigned in bombing of USS Cole 11/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:19pm]
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