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Homeland Security


US Military Charges Al-Qaida Leader's Alleged Bodyguard with Conspiracy

10 May 2007

The U.S. military has charged a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of working as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden with conspiracy and providing support for terrorism.

The Department of Defense announced the charges against Salim Ahmed Hamdan Thursday.

Prosecutors accuse Hamdan, a Yemeni national, of serving as a personal driver and armed bodyguard for the al-Qaida leader. They also allege Hamdan transported weapons to al-Qaida members and received weapons training in Afghanistan.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Hamdan and a second detainee, Omar Khadr, on the legality of military trials at the prison facility. President Bush passed the law through Congress last year, granting authority for U.S. military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees.

Hamdan is the third detainee to be charged at the prison camp. In April, the U.S. military charged Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, a Canadian, with murder, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.

Nearly 400 terrorist suspects are being held at the U.S. detention center in Cuba, awaiting legal action after being picked up in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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