A Pakistani held at Guantanamo Bay since 2006 has been charged with assisting with a number of al-Qaeda terror plots under the supervision of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Majid Shoukat Khan, who lived in the United States from 1996 to 2002 before returning to his native Pakistan, stands accused of helping to plan attacks on the United States and Indonesia, the Pentagon said Tuesday in a statement.
The 31-year-old, who was detained in Pakistan in 2003, is one of 14 high-value prisoners held under conditions of maximum security at the controversial U.S. military-run prison.
He is accused of having conspired with Mohammed ─ also being held in Guantanamo ─ to blow up U.S. gas stations and assassinate Pakistan’s then-president Pervez Musharraf in a suicide bombing inside a mosque.
Military prosecutors also accuse him of delivering $50,000 in al-Qaeda funds to a southeast Asia-based affiliate in Bangkok.
The funds were later given to another radical Islamist group which used them to carry out the bombing of a Jakarta hotel in 2003, killing 11 people and wounding at least 81 others, according to the U.S. military.
Khan has been formally charged with “conspiracy, murder and attempted murder in violation of the law of war, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.”
Prosecutors have recommended the charges be referred to a military commission for trial, with the maximum penalty being life imprisonment.
Khan is the seventh Guantanamo detainee to be formally charged since U.S. President Barack Obama assumed office in January 2009 and the second to be referred to a military tribunal after Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000.
The five other detainees, including Mohammed, have been charged with planning the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington but are still awaiting trial by a military tribunal.
In a brief statement Khan’s lawyers said they are “reviewing the charges and will represent Majid throughout this process. Majid is doing well considering these challenging circumstances.”