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November 23rd, 2009
05:22 PM ET

Terrorism trial may point way for 9/11 cases

During about five years of detention at Guantánamo, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani says he was confined in harsh conditions, abused during interrogation and denied a lawyer.

During about five years of detention at Guantánamo, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani says he was confined in harsh conditions, abused during interrogation and denied a lawyer.

Benjamin Weiser
The New York Times

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, suspected of being a Qaeda terrorist, was captured in Pakistan in 2004, held in secret prisons run by the C.I.A. and then moved to the naval base at Guantánamo Bay. During about five years of detention, he says, he was confined in harsh conditions, abused during interrogation and denied a lawyer.

Since the spring, Mr. Ghailani has also been a defendant in federal court in Manhattan, the first Guantánamo detainee to be moved to the civilian courts.

From the moment the Obama administration announced that it would seek to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the professed planner of 9/11, and other Guantánamo detainees in the same federal court, the wisdom of the decision has been debated. Critics of the move have worried that government secrets will leak, that evidence won through harsh tactics could lead to dismissals, or that a trial would be used as a platform to spew hate.

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Filed under: Guantanomo Bay
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