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Morocco appeals court acquits five former Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] A Moroccan criminal appeal court Friday acquitted five former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees of terrorism charges related to the men's connection with Salafia Jihadia [MIPT backgrounder] and unrelated to their detention at Guantanamo Bay, where three of the men spent up to 4 1/2 years in US custody. The Salafia Jihadia is an offshoot of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group [MIPT backgrounder]. Both organizations are allegedly linked with al-Qaeda and are believed to be responsible for the May 16, 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings [BBC report] that killed 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers.

The head of the independent Human Rights Moroccan Center appealed a Moroccan court's conviction of the former detainees [JURIST reports] in November 2006. Two of the men remain in custody on a separate charge of trying to recruit volunteers to fight in Iraq. Reuters has more.

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