U.S. Files Terror Charges Against Usama Bin Laden's Driver
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The United States filed charges of conspiracy and providing support for terrorism Thursday against a Guantanamo detainee accused of working as a driver and bodyguard for Usama bin Laden.
Salim Ahmed Hamdan is the third Guantanamo detainee to be charged under a new set of rules signed last year by President Bush after the Supreme Court rejected the previous system.
Hamdan, who is from Yemen, has been detained at Guantanamo since May 2002. It was his legal challenge that forced the Bush administration and Congress to draft new rules for the military trials, known as commissions, for the men held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in eastern Cuba.
Click here to read the charges against Hamdan (FindLaw pdf)
In the charging documents, the military said Hamdan conspired with bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
In addition to working as bin Laden's driver and bodyguard, the U.S. said Hamdan transported and delivered weapons to Al Qaeda and its associates and trained at terrorist camps.
The documents do not disclose the potential sentence Hamdan could receive in a military trial, but they specify that he would not be subject to the death penalty.
U.S. officials have previously said they expect to charge 60 to 80 of the Guantanamo detainees and may seek the death penalty in some cases.