Accused Jemaah Islamiya Terrorist's Questions Go Unanswered at Gitmo

In a second Gitmo transcript released today by the Pentagon, Jemaah Islamiya member Mohd Farik Bin Amin, better known as Zubair, chose not to make a statement before the Tribunal, as al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others have.

Zubair, best known for his work directly under Jemaah Islamiya's operational planner Hambali, who is also being held at Gitmo, is accused of having played a role -- namely in funding -- in the attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia in August 2003 that killed 12 and injured 144 people. 

He is also alleged to have been a member of an al Qaeda suicide team that was to participate in a plan to attack a building in Los Angeles, Calif.

Unlike enemy combatants who have gone before, Zubair, according to the transcript, was very meek during his Tribunal, uttering barely audible "yes" and "no" responses to questions. 

At the end of the Tribunal, however, Zubair appeared to perk up and through his personal representative, asked several questions.  Among his questions, he asked, "What type of cases would normally be brought to military court?...Is there a distinction between cases involving civilians and uniformed military personnel as targets?...third…What is the role of the Malaysian Government in the coalition?...Does the Malaysian Government have the right to petition for the extradition of the detainee?"

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The head of the Military Tribunal bluntly replied that the Tribunal cannot answer those questions.  He punted on the questions concerning the military commission and Malaysia by saying they are part of "another process that is not relevant to these proceedings" and added that Zubair's questions may be answered by other military authorities.  The Tribunal president also said the actions of coalition partners like Malaysia "are not within the authority of this board to address."

Jemaah Islamiya is an al Qaeda-affiliated terror network that usually focuses its attacks on southeast Asia.

Read the transcript of Zubair's Tribunal.

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