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U.S. Files Charges Against Gitmo Detainee

The United States filed charges of conspiracy and providing support for terrorism Thursday against a Guantanamo detainee accused of working as a driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan is the third Guantanamo detainee to be charged under a new set of rules for military trials signed last year by President George W. Bush after the Supreme Court rejected the previous system.

Hamdan, who is from Yemen, has been detained at Guantanamo since May 2002. It was his legal challenge that forced the Bush administration and Congress to draft new rules for the military trials, known as commissions, for the men held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in eastern Cuba.

In the charging documents, the military says Hamdan conspired with bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

In addition to working as bin Laden's driver and bodyguard, the United States says Hamdan transported and delivered weapons to al Qaeda and its associates and trained at terrorist camps.

The documents do not disclose the potential sentence Hamdan could receive in a military trial, but they specify that he would not be subject to the death penalty.

U.S. officials have previously said they expect to charge 60 to 80 of the Guantanamo detainees and may seek the death penalty in some cases.

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