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U.S. recommends death penalty in USS Cole attack


WASHINGTON — A US military prosecutor is recommending the prime suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole be tried at Guantanamo in what would be the first military tribunal under the Obama administration, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

"Military commissions prosecutors have sworn charges against Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri of Saudi Arabia," the Defense Department said in a statement.

The trial, in which the prosecutors were recommending the death penalty, would be the first since President Barack Obama announced in March that military tribunals could be used at Guantanamo, in a reversal from his 2009 freeze of such trials at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The charges against Nashiri allege he was "in charge of the planning and preparation for the attack on USS Cole in the Port of Aden, Yemen," in an attack that killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 more, when the perpetrators blew a 30-foot by 30-foot hole in her side, the Pentagon said.

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