USS Cole Bombing Suspect to be Arraigned November 9

Posted October 7th, 2011 at 6:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. officials say a Saudi Arabian man accused of planning the 2000 bombing of the Navy warship USS Cole will make his first appearance at a Guantanamo Bay military tribunal November 9.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was supposed to appear in court October 26, but authorities say the arraignment was postponed at the request of his defense team, which cited a scheduling conflict.

Authorities have accused Nashiri of the planning and preparation of the attack on the naval vessel in Yemen's Port of Aden. The bombing killed 17 sailors, wounded nearly 40 others and blew a hole in the side of the ship. Nashiri, who has been in U.S. custody since 2002, could be executed if convicted.

The case sets into motion the military tribunal system set up during the administration of President George W. Bush. But in 2009, the military commission was blocked by President Barack Obama when he ordered all trials to be halted and the prison shut down.

Mr. Obama reversed the order in March 2011, paving the way for the military tribunals to continue. Previous charges against Nashiri were withdrawn in 2009 to comply with the order. President Obama has said he is committed to shutting down the prison, but his efforts have been blocked by Congress.