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Alleged bin Laden bodyguard charged

  • Story Highlights
  • Ahmad Sulayman al Bahlul of Yemen is a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • Charges against him include conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder
  • In 2004, al Bahlul told a military tribunal that he was a member of al Qaeda
  • He allegedly created a propaganda video about the 2000 attack on the USS Cole
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An alleged close associate of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is facing a number of charges, including providing material support for terrorism, the U.S. Office of Military Commissions said Friday.

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More than 300 foreign nationals are being held at the U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Ahmad Sulayman al Bahlul of Yemen is being held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He is also charged with conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder of protected persons, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, murder in violation of the Law of War, destruction of property in violation of the Law of War, and terrorism.

Al Bahlul is alleged to have traveled in 1999 to Afghanistan, where he underwent "military-type training" and joined al Qaeda, the Office of Military Commissions said in a statement.

Al Bahlul "served as the personal secretary and media secretary" for bin Laden and created a propaganda video about the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in a Yemeni port and video "wills" of two of the hijackers responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the statement said.

He is also alleged to have been a bodyguard for bin Laden.

In 2004, al Bahlul told a military tribunal that he was a member of al Qaeda and asked to represent himself in tribunal proceedings. Those proceedings ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that President Bush lacked the authority to set up such tribunals, prompting Congress to pass the Military Commissions Act later that year.

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According to a summary of evidence memo created for the 2004 tribunal, al Bahlul trained in Afghanistan for five weeks, learning basic tactics and the use of several weapons. He also attended two months of advanced training, the document says.

Bin Laden appointed him "media office director and public relations secretary," according to the document, which also says he was heavily armed -- including wearing a suicide belt -- whenever he was with the al Qaeda leader.

The Office of Military Commissions said that al Bahlul will appear before a military trial judge for arraignment within 30 days of being served the charges against him and that the trial would begin within 120 days, according to the Military Commissions Act. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Guantanamo BayAl QaedaOsama bin LadenSeptember 11 Attacks

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