New York trial for Guantanamo terrorist suspect Ahmed Ghailani

May 21st, 2009 - 4:22 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Guantanamo terrorist suspect Ahmed Ghailani The first of a potential 240 prisoners being held as suspected terrorists at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is expected to be soon transferred to New York to stand trial in a US civilian court.

The impending transfer of Ahmed Ghailani comes as President Barrak Obama attempts to fulfill a pledge made immediately upon taking office to close the controversial prison by January next year, despite stiff opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.

Ghailani, was seized in Pakistan in 2004 and was one of 14 so-called “high-value detainees” transferred from secret CIA prisons abroad to Guantanamo in September 2006.

He was indicted in New York on charges related to the August 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed more than 200 people.

Yesterday the US Senate voted against President Obama’s request for $US80 million in funding to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre after the House of Representatives made a similar decision.

The Republicans want to see the camp remain open, while the Democrats are asking the president for a plan of the closure process before agreeing to fund it.

A report in the New York Times today quoted an unreleased Pentagon report as saying that one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from Guantanamo Bay have returned to terrorism or militant activity.

Later today the President will address concerns the Congress and many American’s have over the transferring of prisoners to the US for trial, while former US vice-president and war-bird Dick Cheney will give his own address - explaining why President Obama’s national security policies are leaving Americans less safe.

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