US considering DC trial for Guantanamo detainee accused of Bali bombing: report

[JURIST] The Obama administration is considering bringing charges in a Washington, DC, federal court against Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Riduan Isamuddin [BBC profile], the suspected planner of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing [BBC backgrounder], the Associated Press reported [text] Friday. According to the AP, administration officials have begun a security review to determine what measures would need to be taken to pursue the case in federal court, and the move is part of a larger plan to bring other Guantanamo detainees to trial in federal courts in Washington and New York City. Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, is the former military commander of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and was allegedly the main link between JI and al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounders] before his catpure in 2003. Former president George W. Bush cited the capture of Isamuddin as a major success in his policies in the war on terror, after the enhanced interrogation of Khaled Shaikh Mohammed [JURIST news archives] uncovered information on Isamuddin's whereabouts. The bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali killed 202 people. In 2008, three men were executed [JURIST report] in Indonesia in connection with the bombings.

Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] decided [JURIST report] that Afghan Guantanamo detainee Obaidullah will be prosecuted by a military proceeding, becoming the sixth such recommendation made by the DOJ under the Obama administration. Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] announced [JURIST report] in November that the government will pursue charges against the five suspected 9/11 conspirators in federal court in New York City. These decisions come as part of a larger effort to close the detention facility. Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama [official profile] ordered Guantanamo closed [JURIST report] by January 22, 2010, but he has recently stated that this deadline will not be met, echoing earlier statements [JURIST report] by administration officials.

 

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