USS Cole bombing case moves into secret session

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Associated Press

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

FORT MEADE, Maryland (AP) — A U.S. military judge at Guantanamo Bay has closed a hearing in the deadly USS Cole bombing case to allow prosecutors and defense attorneys to discuss classified information.

The defendant, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was not present at Wednesday's secret session. The judge ruled earlier that the Saudi national could not attend despite objections from his attorneys.

Media organizations, including The Associated Press, had filed a motion urging the judge not to close the proceedings.

Al-Nashiri is charged with masterminding the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which killed 17 sailors. Al-Nashiri has been held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006 after being held by the CIA in a series of secret prisons.

He is considered one of the most senior leaders in al-Qaida.

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