- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 20, 2003


The Air Force has dropped three counts in an espionage case against a Syrian-born airman who worked as a translator at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp for terrorism suspects.

The lawyer for Senior Airman Ahmad al Halabi, a supply clerk detailed to the prison, said yesterday that once those charges were removed, “simply the gut of the case was gone.”

Dropped was the single count in the charge that accused Airman al Halabi of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense. Also dropped were counts that dealt with e-mailing information about Guantanamo detainees and committing espionage by transmitting information to unauthorized recipients.

Airman al Halabi still faces 17 of the 30 charges filed against him following his arrest in July after nine months as an Arabic translator at the prison. They include other espionage counts, disobeying an order, making false official statements, mishandling classified documents and lying on a credit application.

He is being held at Travis Air Force Base in California, his home base, where his court-martial will be held.

The airman was arrested July 23 at start of a leave.

from Guantanamo.

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