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Allegations against Gitmo prisoner dropped

Oct. 15, 2008 at 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has withdrawn key allegations linking a British prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a plot to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb.

Defense lawyers said the decision should force federal officials to drop charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism against Binyam Mohammed, The Washington Post reported. Mohamed's attorneys said the charges filed in May were based on false confessions obtained through torture.

The government alleged Mohammed, 30, from Notting Hill, was involved in a plot to explode a radioactive dirty bomb in U.S. locations, blowing up apartment buildings and releasing cyanide gas in nightclubs.

"There are no serious, hard charges against Mohammed," said Air Force Lt. Col. Yvonne R. Bradley, the British prisoner's military attorney. "The whole thing the government was hanging its hat on, pursuing Mr. Mohammed, was the dirty bomb."

Mohammed's case is "under review," Joseph DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Office of Military Commissions, told the Post.

The Justice Department's decision came after a Washington federal judge ordered the government to turn over all available exculpatory evidence to Mohammed's attorneys, documents filed by government attorneys indicated. The order covered classified British intelligence documents that included communications with U.S. officials about Mohammed after his arrest in Pakistan in April 2002.

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