The Department of Defense announced today that the Convening Authority, Office of Military Commissions referred charges to a military commission in the case of United States v. Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri. The referred charges allege, among other things, that Al Nashiri was in charge of the planning and preparation for the attack on USS Cole (DDG 67) in the Port of Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. That attack killed 17 sailors, wounded 37 sailors, and severely damaged the ship.
The Convening Authority referred the charges to a capital military commission, meaning that, if convicted, Al Nashiri could be sentenced to death. Pursuant to the reforms in the Military Commissions Act of 2009, Al Nashiri has been provided with additional counsel, learned in the applicable law relating to capital cases, to assist in his defense.
The charges also allege that Al Nashiri was in charge of planning and preparation for an attempted attack on USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) as that ship refueled in the Port of Aden on Jan. 3, 2000. The charges further allege that Al Nashiri was in charge of the planning and preparation for attack on the French civilian oil tanker MV Limburg in the Gulf of Aden on Oct. 6, 2002. This attack resulted in the death of one crewmember and the release of approximately 90,000 barrels of oil into the gulf.
In accordance with Military Commissions rules and procedures, the Chief Trial Judge of the Military Commissions Trial Judiciary will assign a military judge to the case, and Al Nashiri will be arraigned at Guantanamo within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon him.
More information, including the relevant charge sheets, is available at the Office of Military Commissions website at http://www.mc.mil .