U.S. drops charges against Binyam Mohammed and 4 others


A Pentagon official overseeing the Guantanamo war crimes court dismissed all pending charges against five prisoners on Tuesday, including a British resident accused in a radioactive “dirty bomb” plot.

The Defense Department gave no reason for the action and said the charges had been dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled later.

But it came after the U.S. government declined to pursue the dirty bomb charges in a Washington court case challenging the detention of Ethiopian-born British resident Binyam Mohammed as an “enemy combatant.”

Mohammed had said repeatedly that he falsely confessed to the plot while he was tortured in a Moroccan prison.

The Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo tribunals, Susan Crawford, dropped all charges against Mohammed, Saudi Arabian captives Jabran al Qahtani and Ghassan al Sharbi, Algerian prisoner Sufyian Barhoumi, and Sudanese captive Noor Uthman Muhammed, the Defense Department said in a statement.

Qahtani, Sharbi and Barhoumi were accused of plotting to build remote-control detonators for car bombs to be used against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Muhammed was alleged to have been an al Qaeda training camp instructor.