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Military Tribunals Overview


White House concedes it won't close Guantanamo after all
January 18, 2017
The White House said Tuesday that the Guantánamo Bay detention center in Cuba will still be open when President Barack Obama leaves office, conceding that a core campaign promise will go unfulfilled. Administration officials had long insisted that the president was continuing to work toward closing the facility even when it became obvious that it would no longer be possible for practical reasons before President-elect Donald Trump takes office Friday. More.
Appeals court upholds conspiracy conviction of Guantanamo Bay detainee
October 20, 2016
The nation's second-highest court on Thursday upheld the conviction of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, siding with the government in a case that tested the power of the military tribunal system. In a 6-to-3 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the conspiracy conviction of Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, a former media secretary to Osama bin Laden. More.
Justice Department opposes new Obama proposal on Guantanamo
June 21, 2016
President Barack Obama is again facing dissent from within his administration - this time from Attorney General Loretta Lynch - over his plans to shutter the Guantanamo Bay military prison, according to senior administration officials. More.
Law enforcement is searching for a former Guantanamo detainee in Brazil
June 17, 2016
A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner transferred to Uruguay in 2014 has vanished and is believed to have quietly slipped into neighboring Brazil, U.S. officials said. Law enforcement is now searching for the former detainee, Syrian national Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, in Brazil. More.
At least 12 released Guantanamo detainees implicated in attacks on Americans
June 8, 2016
The Obama administration believes that at least 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans, according to current and former U.S. officials. In March, a senior Pentagon official made a startling admission to lawmakers when he acknowledged that former Guantanamo inmates were responsible for the deaths of Americans overseas. More.
30 of Guantánamo's last 80 captives are cleared to go
June 3, 2016
Thirty of Guantánamo's war-on-terror prisoners are now approved for release to security arrangements following an interagency parole board's disclosure Friday that it was clearing an Afghan "forever prisoner." Bostan Karim, 46, "expressed support for the Government of Afghanistan, the Constitution of Afghanistan and reconciliation," the board wrote in a brief statement declaring him approved for transfer to security arrangements that satisfy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. More.
Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts
February 23, 2016
President Obama sent Congress a plan on Tuesday to close the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, his latest attempt to deliver on an unfulfilled promise of his presidency, which faces near-certain rejection by Congress. The prison has come to symbolize the darker side of the nation's antiterrorism efforts, but the series of steps that Mr. Obama outlined at the White House were as much an acknowledgment of the constraints binding him during his final year in office as they were a practical blueprint for transferring prisoners. More.
National tribute sought to honor 9/11 veterans
November 10, 2015
Jan Scruggs knew as a young Army infantryman returning from Vietnam that his fellow veterans and his entire country needed a place to go to heal. More than three decades later, the man who led efforts to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, said it's now time such a wall be built for post-9/11 combat veterans, even though service members are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. More.
Guantanamo Bay Naval Station Fast Facts
October 30, 2015
Here's a look at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station and its detention facilities. Facts: The base, sometimes referred to as "Gitmo," is located in southeastern Cuba, on the coast of Guantánamo Bay. The U.S. has been leasing the 45 square miles that the base sits on since 1903. The base shares a 17-mile border with Cuba. The lease can only be terminated by mutual agreement. More.
Judge may end impasse that halted 9/11 case at Guantanamo
October 19, 2015
A lurching effort to try five prisoners at Guantanamo Bay by military commission for the Sept. 11 attack came to an abrupt halt 18 months ago, and a judge is expected to decide as early as Monday whether he can break the impasse and get the case moving again. The presiding military judge stopped proceedings in April 2014 when the lawyer for Ramzi Binalshibh, one of five men facing the death penalty for allegedly planning and aiding the plot, revealed that members of his defense team had been questioned by the FBI about a potential illegal breach of security rules. More.
US defense department eyes Colorado prisons to hold Guantánamo detainees
October 13, 2015
A team from the US Defense Department's policy shop will spend three days this week in Colorado to determine if two prisons in the state might indefinitely hold dozens of Guantánamo detainees. The latest round of planning in Barack Obama's long-stalled initiative to close Guantánamo Bay currently involves inspecting a federal Supermax in Florence and a state penitentiary at Canon City to determine their eligibility for continuing the detention of men at Guantánamo whom the US will neither charge nor release. More.
Guantanamo Bay inmate flees UK to join Isis in Syria
October 11, 2015
A terror suspect freed from Guantanamo Bay and given £1m in compensation by Britain has reportedly fled to Syria to join Isis. It is believed that Jamal al-Harith, a Muslim convert formerly known as Ronald Fiddler, traveled to Syria 18 months ago to join up with the Islamist organisation, Channel 4 reports. Questions have been raised as to how al-Harith was able to leave the UK to join Isis. More.
Keeping conspiracy out of Guantanamo tribunals
September 30, 2015
Can the military tribunals at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, try civilian offenses? In a landmark decision in June, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said no, restricting the tribunals to international war crimes and short-circuiting most Guantanamo trials except for the Sept. 11-related ones. But the court decided Friday to rehear the case en banc, effectively vacating the panel's opinion. More.
Military Commissions Update
December 16, 2014
The U.S. v. KSM et al (2) pretrial hearing scheduled for December 16, 2014 has been cancelled. The next scheduled hearing will begin on 9 February 2015, at 9:00 am. We are awaiting for commissions order(s) for further details. Once posted you will be able to view those order(s) at
Guantánamo judge bows to prosecution, reinstates joint 5-man 9/11 trial
August 13, 2014
The military judge in charge of the 9/11 terrorism trial bowed to a Pentagon prosecution protest Wednesday and agreed to go forward with a single, five-man, Sept. 11 death-penalty tribunal. The judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, had separated alleged 9/11 plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh, 42, on July 24 to have his own trial. He cited bin al Shibh's unique conflict-of-interest and competency issues as slowing progress in the trial of alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and three other accused co-conspirators. More.
Judge weighs recombining trials for 9/11 suspects
August 11, 2014
A pretrial hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11 terror attacks is in recess until mid-week while the military judge decides whether to reconsider his decision to try one of the men separate from the other four. Army Col. James Pohl heard arguments for about an hour Monday at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. More.
Chief Prosecutor Mark Martin's Remarks at Guantanamo Bay
August 10, 2014
Good evening. On the eve of continuing pre-trial sessions this week, I wish to take a moment to remember the September 11th fallen and their loved ones who long for justice and some measure of peace. I remember in particular one gentleman who was at a business meeting on the 17th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the tower. His oldest son called him after the first plane hit the North Tower, urging him to leave. He replied that he was evacuating people and promised to leave soon. He was last seen rushing into the tower to get two-way radios to stay in touch with others just before the South Tower collapsed. More.
Military Commissions Update - Docketing Order & Severance Order
July 24, 2014
On 24 July, the Military Judge issued an Order severing the prosecution of Ramzi Bin al Shibh (RBS) from the Military Commission case currently progressing against the other four Accused. A copy of the Order is attached. This means that beginning at the time of the Order, the case against Ramzi bin al Shibh, including the eventual trial, will be separate and distinct from the case against the other four. The Military Judge issued this order of his own accord and had not solicited the position of either the government or the Accused before taking this step.
The Prosecution Team has steadfastly taken the position throughout the history of this case that these five accused should be tried together. Among the important reasons for taking that position is the Team's strong belief that those most directly affected by the attacks on September 11 should see justice served once as to all five and not be forced to endure a repeat of the case. The Prosecution Team is considering its options in regard to this serious development and will keep you apprised.
Also attached is the docketing order for the upcoming hearing in August. The first motion Judge Pohl will hear is Hawsawi's Motion to Sever. If you wish to review Hawsawi's Motion to Sever (AE299) and the original Judge's Order to Show Cause (AE039), please visit
Click Here for the Docketing Order.
Click Here for the Severance Order.
Military Judge severs accused 9/11 plotter from Guantanamo proceeding
July 24, 2014
A military judge ruled Thursday that one of the five defendants being tried at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for their alleged roles in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks be severed from the proceeding. The decision delivers another in a series of delays to the government's effort to prosecute Ramzi Binalshibh, a Yemeni described as a key figure in the plot who acted as a liaison between the hijackers and al-Qaeda's leadership in Afghanistan. More.
Chief Prosecutor Mark Martin's Remarks at Guantanamo Bay
June 18, 2014
Good afternoon. Today Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi—an Iraqi national whose records indicate was born as Nashwan Abd al Razzaq in 1961 in the city of Mosul—was arraigned before a United States military commission on charges that, as a senior member of Al Qaeda, he conspired with and led others in a series of unlawful attacks and related offenses in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere from 2001 to 2006. More.
Military Commissions Update
June 17, 2014
The hearings in U.S. v. KSM et al (2) are concluded for the week. The military judge heard oral argument on the Defense Emergency Motion to Abate the Proceedings to Allow the Military Judge to Conduct a Thorough Inquiry to Assess a Potential Conflict of Interest Between the Accused and the Defense Counsel Because of a Separate Criminal Investigation (AE292). More.
Chief Prosecutor Mark Martin's Remarks at Guantanamo Bay
June 15, 2014
Good evening and Happy Father's Day. I refer to Father's Day with a heavy heart because I know it is a difficult reminder for the fathers who have lost children, and for the sons and daughters who have lost fathers. As we pause to honor them, I reflect upon one father who lost three loved ones on September 11th when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Declining to dwell on their last moments or the futures that might have been, I recall instead the fullness of their lives that make him proud. More.
Military Commissions Trial Judiciary
June 4, 2014
1. A hearing in this case will take place 16-17 June 2014, at the US Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The hearing will begin at 0900 on 16 June 2014.  2. All Accused must be present for the session on 16 June 2014.  3. Based upon pleadings filed with the Commission in conjunction with the Emergency Defense Joint Motion to Abate Proceedings and Inquire into Existence of a Conflict of Interest Burdening Counsel's Representation of Accused (AE 292), the Commission will hear argument only on this motion with emphasis on the issues raised by AE 292T. More.
Chief Prosecutor Mark Martins Remarks at Guantanamo Bay
April 27, 2014
In my remarks two weeks ago, I highlighted one woman's bewilderment at how the open military commission trial encompassing the attack that killed her brother was being portrayed by certain private advocacy groups and members of the media as overly secretive. Today, I want to highlight related feelings of frustration and anger conveyed to me a few days ago by another surviving family member whose beloved brother died in a terror attack. More.
Military Commissions Trial Judiciary - April 16, 2014
Consistent with my authority and responsibilities under the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C. § 948k (2009) and applicable rules prescribing how counsel may represent the United States, I hereby detail the qualified person listed below to the military commission of United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi. More.
Military Tribunals Update - April 3, 2013
I wish you well and trust you are looking forward to some warmer weather soon. The next hearings in United States v. KSM et al (2) are scheduled for 22 - 26 April 2012, a total of five days of hearings. Families traveling with us will go to GTMO on Saturday, 20 April, and return on Saturday, 27 April. Please find attached a copy of the current docketing order for the April hearings. More.

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