Salim Ahmed Hamdan (Arabic: سالم احمد حمدان) (born c. 1970) is a Yemeni man, captured during the invasion of Afghanistan, and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. He admits to being Osama bin Laden's personal driver claiming he needed the $200 monthly salary that came with the job.
He was charged with "conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism" but a judge declared the judicial system in place at the time unconstitutional and those charges were dropped on June 5, 2007. He was then held, without being charged, as an enemy combatant. He was brought up on new charges on July 21, 2008, and found guilty of "providing material support" to al Qaeda, but was cleared of terrorism conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years of imprisonment by a military jury, being counted as having already served five years of the sentence at the time. A Pentagon spokesman noted that Hamdan may still be considered an "enemy combatant" upon completing his sentence and detained indefinitely. Despite the threat to detain him indefinitely, the U.S. in November 2008 transferred him to Yemen to serve out the remainder of his sentence. He was released January 8, 2009 to live with his family in Sana.
Hamdan's numerous legal efforts, as one of the first detainees at Guantanamo Bay to be given formal charges, have been a focal point for debate and criticism relating to the questions of indefinite detention in the "War on Terror", the ability of Guantanamo Bay detainees to petition for habeas corpus, the validity of military commissions rather than civil trials for alleged terrorists, and the correct implementation of the Geneva Conventions for terrorist suspects. His case was the instigation for the United States Supreme Court decision Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), and his case has been covered by major U.S. news organizations since 2004.