Osama's bodyguard

U.S. let Osama bin Laden's top bodyguard go

Guantanamo testimony: U.S. let bin Laden's top bodyguard go
By Carol Rosenberg | The Miami Herald

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Soon after Osama bin Laden's driver got here in 2002, he told interrogators the identity of the al Qaeda chief's most senior bodyguard — then a fellow prison camp detainee.

But, inexplicably, the U.S. let the bodyguard go.

This startling information was revealed in the fourth day of the war crimes trial of Salim Hamdan, 37, facing conspiracy and material support for terror charges as an alleged member of bin Laden's inner circle.

Michael St. Ours, an agent with the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service, NCIS, provided the first tidbit. He testified for the prosecution that his job as a prison camps interrogator in May 2002 was to find and focus on the bodyguards among the detainees.

And Hamdan helped identify 30 of them — 10 percent of the roughly 300 detainees then held here. They had just been transferred to Camp Delta from the crude compound called Camp X-Ray, and U.S. intelligence was still trying to unmask them.

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