Terror suspect charged with war crimes

A suspected &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2003/01/25/42553.html' target=_blank>al-Qaida terrorist was formally charged Friday in connection with a March 2002 grenade attack in Afghanistan that injured three journalists.

Abdul Zahir, who also was charged with paying other members of al-Qaida to conduct terror attacks against coalition forces, became the 10th Guantanamo Bay detainee to be charged with criminal offenses that will lead to an eventual military trial.

Zahir, an Afghan, was charged with conspiracy, aiding the enemy and attacking civilians.

Pretrial hearings began this month in the cases of two of those detainees.

According to the charges, Zahir operated in Afghanistan from 1997 until his capture in July 2002. He allegedly was paid to work as a money courier and translator, funneling money to members of a terrorist cell in Kabul. He was allegedly entrusted with more than $50,000 to fund terrorists attacks.

He also was charged with producing anti-American leaflets to recruit Afghans living near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and near the U.S. military bases in Afghanistan to commit terrorist attacks against American soldiers.

Zahir was arrested about four months after the grenade attack. He is charged with working with two other terrorists in the attack, in which a grenade was thrown through the window of a vehicle carrying journalists traveling toward Gardez.

In that attack, a Canadian reporter for the Toronto Star was badly injured. Two other journalists and a driver were also in the car.

Roughly 500 detainees are being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case by one of the terror suspects challenging the administration's plans to charge him for war crimes.