Salim Ahmed Hamdan (Arabic: سالم احمد حمدان) (born c. 1970) is a Yemeni man, captured during the invasion of Afghanistan, declared by the United States government to be an illegal enemy combatant and held as a detainee at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to November 2008. He admits to being Osama bin Laden's personal driver and said he needed the money.
He was originally charged by a military tribunal with "conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism," but the process of military tribunals was challenged in a case that went to the US Supreme Court. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), the Court ruled that the military commissions as set up by the United States Department of Defense were flawed and unconstitutional. DOD continued to hold Hamdan as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo.
After passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Hamdan was tried on revised charges beginning July 21, 2008, the first of the detainees to be tried under the new system. He was found guilty of "providing material support" to al Qaeda, but was acquitted by the jury of terrorism conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years of imprisonment by the military jury, which credited him for his detention as having already served five years of the sentence. A Pentagon spokesman noted then that DOD might still classify Hamdan as an "enemy combatant" after he completed his sentence, and detain him indefinitely.
In November 2008, the U.S. transferred Hamdan to Yemen to serve out the remainder month of his sentence. He was released by the government there on January 8, 2009, permitting him to live with his family in Sana. On October 16, 2012, Hamdan's entire conviction was overturned on appeal in the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, and he was acquitted of all charges.
Hamdan and his brother-in-law Nasser al-Bahri were the subjects of the award-winning documentary, The Oath (2010), by the American director Laura Poitras, which explored their time in al-Qaeda and later struggles.
Read more about Salim Hamdan: Early Life, Capture in Afghanistan, Trial Timeline, Supreme Court Opinion, Charged Under The Military Commissions Act, Charges Dismissed, Deemed An "illegal Enemy Combatant", Boycott, Conviction and Acquittal, Sentencing, Reactions, Request For New Sentencing Hearing, Return To Yemen, Appeal and Dismissal of Charges
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