The US military announced plans to proceed with the trial of three men being held at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They are suspected of involvement in the deadly bombings that rocked Indonesia in 2002 and 2003.
“The charges include conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, terrorism, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, destruction of property, and accessory after the fact, all in violation of the law of war,” the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday.
The 2002 Bali bombings targeted multiple tourist hotspots, killing 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. A year later, an attack on the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta killed 12.
The three suspects were captured in Thailand in 2003. They have spent more than 14 years in the US military detention facillity in Guantanamo Bay.
Encep Nurjaman, also known as Hambali, is allegedly the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaida’s top affiliate in Southeast Asia. Malaysian nationals and Hambali aides Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep and Mohammed Farik Bin Amin have also been accused of planning and providing assistance in the attacks.
It remains unclear why the charges were announced over 14 years after their detention but military proceedings at the navy-run prison are often delayed due to logistical difficulties and legal challenges.
At the peak of Washington’s “War on Terror”, the prison held around 780 detainees. After a push by the Obama administration, where President Joe Biden served as vice president, only 40 detainees remained at Guantanamo.
see/rc (AP, AFP)
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