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Homeland Security

15 July 2004

Defense Department Report, July 15: Former Bin Laden Driver Charged

Yemeni detainee accused of providing security for al-Qa'ida members

The Department of Defense (DOD) is pressing charges against Salim Ahmed Hamdan of Yemen, accusing him of being a personal driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

Hamdan is being held at the U.S. naval air station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant in the war against terrorism.

The charging documents allege that Hamdan, who also has used the names of Saqr al-Jaddawi and Khalid bin Abdullah, worked for bin Laden and other al-Qa'ida leaders from February 1996 until he was captured in November 2001. His service to the al-Qa'ida network is alleged to have occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

Hamdan has been accused of being trained at an al-Qa'ida-sponsored camp in Afghanistan, and of picking up weapons and ammunition and delivering them to al-Qa'ida members and associates. He denies taking part in any terrorist activities.

The Yemeni detainee is presumed innocent of these charges unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a military commission.

A trial date has not yet scheduled.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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