Washington Appeals Court Rejects Freedom Attempt By Saudi Man

By Tom Bacon

A small cell at the U-A Navy base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba has been home for a Saudi Arabian man since 2002. It's likely to be his home for some time to come, since Washington State federal appeals judges rejected his latest attempt to be set free.

Abd Al Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri was captured in Dubai 11 years ago for his role in three terrorist plots hatched by then-Al Queda leader Osama Bin Laden. Al Nashiri was classified a non-citizen enemy combatant for his part in an attempted bombing of a US warship in 2000, for the USS Cole bombing that same year in which 17 sailors were killed, and the 2002 bombing of a civilian cruise liner in which one passenger died.

His latest attempt to overturn his detention came when he filed a challenge in Tacoma federal court against the military commission which convicted him in Guantanamo Bay. Exactly how a Guantanamo Bay prisoner's case landed in a Washington State federal court is not clear.

Al Nashiri contended the military officers had no jurisdiction over him, because the terrorist plots and attacks occurred in or near Yemen, which was at peace in 2000 and 2002. But his case was swiftly thrown out by the trial judge in Tacoma, who ruled he had no jurisdiction under a post 9-11 law which set up the military commissions.

When Al Nashiri's lawyers persisted, a three-judge panel of appeals judges meeting in Tacoma upheld dismissal of his case, agreeing that Congress had stripped federal courts of jurisdiction under the law which created the military commission system.
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