Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-accused-al-qaeda-mastermind-of-uss-cole-bombing-that-killed-17-sailors-off-yemen-in-2000-to-finally-go-on-trial-next-year-in-longest-running-death-penalty-case-at-guantanamo-bayAlert – Accused Al-Qaeda mastermind of USS Cole bombing that killed 17 sailors off Yemen in 2000 to finally go on trial next year in longest running death penalty case at Guantanamo Bay

The trial of the alleged mastermind of the al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 may finally take place next year following a new ruling.

It mean the longest-running capital case at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba could reach a conclusion 25 years after the terrorist attack.

Army judge Col. Matthew S. Fitzgerald, who is the fourth judge to preside over the case, said it was ‘important to set benchmarks’ as he made a goal of proceeding to trial in 2025.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national, is accused of orchestrating the deadly bombing in the port of Aden in 2000, which killed 17 U.S. sailors and wounded 37.

On October 12, 2000, two suicide pilots of a small bomb-laden boat pulled alongside of the USS Cole at midship, offered friendly gestures to several crew members, and detonated their explosives

On October 12, 2000, two suicide pilots of a small bomb-laden boat pulled alongside of the USS Cole at midship, offered friendly gestures to several crew members, and detonated their explosives

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was accused of organizing the bombing of the USS Cole which killed 17 Americans

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was accused of organizing the bombing of the USS Cole which killed 17 Americans

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole is towed away from the port city of Aden, Yemen

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole is towed away from the port city of Aden, Yemen

He could get the death penalty if convicted by a military commission of charges that include terrorism and murder.

The military commission proceedings have repeatedly stalled since al-Nashiri’s arraignment in 2011.

He was originally detained in 2002 and moved to Guantanamo bay in 2006.

Paul Abney, a survivor of the attack and a retired Navy master chef, who was in court for the latest hearing, told the New York Time that he was ‘delighted’ by the judge’s determination to move forward.

This Handout file photo taken October 12, 2000 shows the port side of the guided missile destroyer USS Cole damaged after a suspected terrorist bomb exploded during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in Yemen

This Handout file photo taken October 12, 2000 shows the port side of the guided missile destroyer USS Cole damaged after a suspected terrorist bomb exploded during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in Yemen

President Bill Clinton listens to the memorial service for the victims of the USS Cole at the Norfolk Naval Base, Oct. 18, 2000, prior to addressing thousands of Navy personnel and the families of the sailors killed in the explosion aboard the USS Cole

President Bill Clinton listens to the memorial service for the victims of the USS Cole at the Norfolk Naval Base, Oct. 18, 2000, prior to addressing thousands of Navy personnel and the families of the sailors killed in the explosion aboard the USS Cole

He told the newspaper: ‘Even if it doesn’t happen next year the fact that he’s willing to put a target date down, and make it a goal to shoot for, is, I think, inspiring.’

In February 2018 a previous judge put proceedings on hold after members of the defense team quit over alleged violations of attorney-client privilege.

Eight months after that an appeals court rejected arguments that had led to the indefinite stay.

There have also been delays over defense claims that al-Nashiri was tortured at CIA ‘black sites’ in the wake of 9/11.

Members of a legal defense team walk at a U.S. military war crimes court at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba June 5, 2008

Members of a legal defense team walk at a U.S. military war crimes court at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba June 5, 2008

The control tower is seen through the razor wire inside the Camp VI detention facility in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba

The control tower is seen through the razor wire inside the Camp VI detention facility in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba

In June last year a UN report said the United States and several other countries had committed human rights violations against al-Nashiri

The UN working group said he had been arbitrarily detained for more than 20 years and voiced concern about his physical and mental well-being.

Al-Nashiri is accused of organizing the attack on the USS Cole by two suicide bombers in a small boat as the destroyer made a fuel stop in Yemen.

The explosion ripped a 40ft hole in the side of the warship.

Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing, which took place 11 months before the 9/11 attacks on the United States.