[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] said Friday that charges have been referred to a military commission trial [press release] against Saudi Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [Globalsecurity backgrounder]. Al-Nashiri is accused of terrorism, attempted murder, and providing material support to terrorism for his alleged role in planning the 2000 al Qaeda attack [DOD report; JURIST news archive] on the USS Cole [official website]. He was charged in June [JURIST report] under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] and faces the death penalty if found guilty at his military commission. Also on Friday, the DOD announced that charges were being dismissed against Afghan detainee Abdul Ghani, who had been charged [DOD charge sheet] with providing material support for terrorism. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means the US has the option of charging him again in the future.
Last year, al-Nashiri said that his confession to planning the USS Cole attack was coerced through torture [JURIST report] at Guantanamo. In 2004, a Yemeni security court charged [JURIST report] al-Nashiri in absentia in connection with the attack, saying he belonged to the al Qaeda terrorist network. In 2005, a Yemeni appeals court upheld a death sentence [JURIST reports] against al-Nashiri.