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Friday, March 30, 2007

Guantanamo detainee says torture prompted confession to USS Cole bombing
Gabriel Haboubi at 3:42 PM ET

[JURIST] Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [DOD profile, PDF page 7; JURIST news archive], the suspected mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing [DOD inquiry report; JURIST news archive] and a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee, said his confession to the attacks was coerced through five years of torture, according to transcripts [text, PDF] released Friday. The transcripts from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD backgrounder] hearing do not provide any details of the alleged torture, and sections of transcript were redacted, but al-Nashiri did say that his alleged torturers were American and not Yemeni. When asked if he was under any pressure or duress at his hearing, he said "No. Not today." Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the Associated Press that al-Nashiri's allegations of torture would be investigated.

Al-Nashiri has already been convicted and sentenced to death [JURIST report] after a trial in absentia in Yemen [CIA backgrounder], the site of the USS Cole attack. He is one of the 14 "high value" detainees [DNI profiles, PDF] moved from secret overseas CIA prisons [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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