A military judge has pushed to Dec. 4 the trial date of a Saudi man accused of orchestrating al-Qaida’s USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors, according to military sources.
If that timetable holds, it will be the first death-penalty prosecution at Guantánamo. It will also be the first at the war court that President George W. Bush created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and President Barack Obama reformed.
Army Col. James L. Pohl, the trial judge, set Oct. 6 for the start of jury selection, according to the sources, who’ve seen a sealed order dated Feb. 26 on the Pentagon’s military commissions website.
Abd al Rahm al Nashiri, 49, is charged with terrorism, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war and other war crimes. Suicide bombers blew up a bomb-laden skiff alongside the warship during a refueling mission off Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.