Al Qaeda Suspects Will Face Tribunals

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 25, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Al Qaeda Suspects Will Face Tribunals


Byline: Guy Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

One man accused of smuggling weapons and moving money for al Qaeda and another accused of serving as a propagandist for the terrorist network will be tried in the first U.S. military tribunals since World War II.

Sulayman al-Bahlul of Yemen and Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi of Sudan, who both also are accused of serving as bodyguards for al Qaeda ringleader Osama bin Laden, are "charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes," U.S. military officials said yesterday.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. John Smith said military prosecutors did not plan to seek the death penalty against either man, but said they could face sentences of up to life in prison.

The two men are among the six persons whom President Bush named in July as eligible for trials before the tribunals, formally called military commissions.

One defense official cautioned that the men still are presumed innocent.

"It's equally possible that they could be exonerated," the official said of Mr. al-Bahlul and Mr. al-Qosi, who are the first individuals to be charged among the more than 600 foreign nationals held at the U.S. prison for terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

The military tribunals for the suspects, whom the Bush administration refers to as "enemy combatants," has emerged as one of the more contentious issues in the war on terror.

The defense official said the tribunals will involve a panel of seven uniformed military officials at Guantanamo.

According to indictments unsealed at the Pentagon yesterday, Mr. al-Bahlul and Mr. al-Qosi completed training at al Qaeda sponsored camps in Afghanistan in the 1990s, with Mr. al-Qosi being named "an accountant" for the network in several Middle Eastern countries as early as 1991.

The Pentagon said in its announcement yesterday that trial dates and panel members will be selected later.

The Pentagon said Mr. al-Bahlul went through terrorist training in late 1999 and was "personally assigned by bin Laden to work in the al Qaeda media office," creating several instructional and motivational recruiting videos to inspire violent attacks against the militaries and civilians of the United States and other countries.

His indictment maintains that he worked closely with bin Laden from late 1999 through December 2001, first working out of an al Qaeda-sponsored guesthouse in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and, after September 11, 2001, serving as a bin Laden bodyguard.

Often traveling in a caravan of vehicles with the terrorist leader, "al-Bahlul was armed and wore an explosives-laden belt," according to the indictment, which also says at one point, bin Laden personally told Mr. al-Bahlul to create a video glorifying the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in a Yemen harbor.

Mr. al-Qosi's indictment is longer because the Pentagon thinks his involvement with al Qaeda spans from 1989, when he is suspected of becoming a member in Sudan during the network's formative stages, through his capture in Afghanistan in 2001.

Military officials previously have said suspects held at Guantanamo Bay were arrested during U.S. military operations in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. The fact that Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Al Qaeda Suspects Will Face Tribunals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?