Nashiri’s DAB says that he masterminded the attacks on the USS COLE and the MV LIMBURG.
On October 12, 2000 a small boat approached the USS COLE, a US navy ship which was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden. Terrorists on the small boat detonated explosives. 17 American sailors were killed in the attack. The terrorists died in the attack as well.
Nashiri is charged with perfidy for his alleged role in the attack on the USS COLE. Perfidy is a war crime where someone invites the belief that a person is a noncombatant civilian or belongs to another category that is protected under the law of war in order to conduct a military attack. Nashiri’s charge sheet says that the attack was committed by two men dressed in civilian clothing who waved at crewmembers on the USS COLE while operating a civilian boat.
Nashiri is also charged with murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, terrorism, conspiracy, and intentionally causing serious bodily injury for his alleged role in the attack on the USS COLE.
The unclassified evidence at Nashiri’s CSRT says he discussed the USS COLE bombing with al Badawi prior to the attack. Al Badawi was tried and convicted in Yemen for his role in the bombing of the USS COLE.
Nashiri denied all involvement in the attack on the USS COLE at his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT).
Nashiri said that he believed that the Yemenis tortured al Badawi into confessing to participating in the USS COLE bombing.
Ali Soufan, an FBI agent who is an adamant opponent of torture, detailed his interrogation of al Badawi at length in his book, The Black Banners. Soufan’s description of his interrogation of Badawi did not include any use of torture.
On October 6, 2002 a small boat exploded next to the French ship Merchant Vessel LIMBURG. The attack on the MV LIMBURG killed the Bulgarian crew member Atanas Atanasov. The MV LIMBURG was being used by a Malaysian oil company.
Nashiri is charged with terrorism, conspiracy, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, and hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft for his alleged role in the attack on the MV LIMBURG.
Al Darbi, who pled guilty to his role in the attack on the MV LIMBURG, is expected to testify against Nashiri at his trial.
Nashiri denied any involvement in the attack on the MV LIMBURG at his CSRT. He says he knew the people involved in the attacks against the MV LIMBURG and USS COLE as a result of business relationships.
Nashiri is accused of attempting to bomb the USS THE SULLIVANS in January 2000, using two suicide bombers dressed in civilian clothes. The boat with the explosives sank prior to the attack. Nashiri is charged with attempted murder in violation of the law of war and conspiracy for his alleged role in the attempted attack on the USS THE SULLIVANS.
Nashiri was not presented with this allegation at his CSRT to respond to.
Nashiri is also charged with conspiracy for allegedly providing a passport used by one of the participants in the bombing of the US embassy in Kenya in 1998.
Al Owhali confessed and was convicted for his role in the bombing of the US embassy in Kenya. According to Nashiri’s CSRT, Owhali said that Bilal provided him his passport. The FBI believes that Bilal was an alias for Nashiri.
Nashiri told his CSRT that he did not help Owhali in any way obtain a passport.
Nashiri was captured in the United Arab Emirates in November 2002.
In 2008 Michael Hayden, who was the director of the CIA at the time, told Congress that Nashiri was one of three individuals who had been waterboarded by the CIA.
Nashiri told his CSRT in March 2007 that he gave false confessions under torture to participating in the attacks on the USS COLE and the MV LIMBURG.
Nashiri was transferred from CIA custody to military custody at Guantanamo in September 2006. Nashiri was first charged in June 2008. Changes have been made to the charges against Nashiri. The most recent set of changes were made in September 2011.
Nashiri’s trial has been scheduled for September 2014.
I discussed the jurisdictional issues in Nashiri’s case with former Guantanamo defense attorney David Frakt on Public Occurrences.