Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wire: Obama Brings 1st Guantanamo Detainee Into US

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that U.S. authorities have brought the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to the United States, flying him into New York to face trial for bombing U.S. embassies, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The department said Ahmed Ghailani arrived in the early morning hours Tuesday. U.S. Marshals took custody of Ghailani from his military jailers and brought him to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Ghailani is scheduled to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

AP noted the following details:
"With his appearance in federal court today, Ahmed Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. "The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case."

Ghailani's trial will be an important test case for the Obama administration's plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo in seven months and bring some of the suspects to trial.

Ghailani was indicted in 1998 for the al-Qaida bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, attacks which killed more than 224 people, including 12 Americans.
Obama faces pressure from across the political spectrum on his plan to close the detention center. Democrats have said they want to see the president's plan for closing the base before approving money to finance it, and Republicans are fighting to keep Guantanamo open, AP said.

Recent polls indicate a majority of Americans favor keeping the detention camp in Cuba open.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Justice Dept.: 1st Gitmo detainee arrives in US

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