Accessibility links

US Military Formally Charges Muslim Chaplain - 2003-10-10

The U.S. military has filed formal charges against a Muslim chaplain who worked with terrorist suspects being held at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Captain James Yee who worked as a Muslim chaplain in the high-security detention unit that houses more than 650 terrorist suspects at Guantanamo was charged with taking classified information home and with wrongly transporting classified material.

Captain Yee, who also uses the name Yousef Yee was arrested last month and has been held at a military brig since then. His case has now been forwarded to authorities at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay where officials will decide whether he will face a court martial, or a lesser disciplinary hearing. A statement from the U.S. Military's Southern Command says the army continues to probe his behavior and he could face further charges.

Captain Yee is one of three men who worked at the Guantanamo detention facility who have been arrested recently. Two other men who worked as translators at the base also face charges.

Ahmed Mehalba, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Egyptian descent, who worked as a civilian contract translator at the base, has been charged with lying to federal officials about classified material he was apparently carrying.

Air Force Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Syrian descent, has been charged with spying for Syria and aiding the enemy.

Southern Command authorities have begun an investigation into whether a wider espionage ring exists at the base. They are also looking into whether information obtained from interrogations of detainees has been compromised by translators working at the base.