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Homeland Security

Navy to Support USS Cole Families During al-Nashiri Military Commission

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080630-15
Release Date: 6/30/2008 4:16:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy and the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions will support the families of victims of the USS Cole (DDG 67) bombing during the military commission process.

Charges were sworn against 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, on June 30, alleging that he participated in the planning and preparation for the attack on USS Cole in the Port of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. The charges allege that two men dressed as civilians piloted what appeared to be a small, garbage barge next to the ship.

The two men made friendly gestures to several crew members aboard the ship before detonating explosives concealed within the boat, according to the charges. The attack killed 17 Sailors, wounded 47 others, and severely damaged the ship.

The Department of Defense is developing plans to provide access to commission proceedings for victim family members at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Victim family members will be chosen equitably based on a random selection process.

Because only a limited number of victim family members may attend the pre-trial or trial events in person, arrangements are being made for closed circuit television feed to a selected U.S. site to allow victim families to view trial proceedings.

"We are committed to helping the USS Cole families during this difficult time," said Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, Deputy Chief of Staff for Global Force Management and Joint Force Operations at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

"It has been nearly eight years since this attack, and we recognize that the ability to observe the justice process is an important element of bringing closure to these Navy families."

Hearings in the case could begin within the next month.

For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.

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