Guantanamo detainee pleads not guilty in New York court

Other News Materials 10 June 2009 11:59 (UTC +04:00)

The first detainee from Guantanamo Bay ever brought to the United States pleaded not guilty in a U.S. court Tuesday, reported Xinhua.

Ahmed Ghailani, a member of an al-Qaida terrorist organization, is charged with participating in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Investigators say Ghailani helped build one of the bombs.

On Aug. 7, 1998,  224 people, including 12 Americans, were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the U.S. embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. The attacks, linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to American attention for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list.

Ghailani was on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list from its inception in October of 2001. In 2004, he was captured and detained by Pakistani forces in a joint operation with the United States. He was sent to Guantanamo two years later.

His trial is seen by many as a test case for the Obama administration's plan to close the detention center and bring some of the suspects to trial.

Some lawmakers are opposed to bringing any Guantanamo detainees to the United States because they say it would endanger American lives.