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Pentagon might increase Guantánamo war court cases

The Obama administration is preparing to ramp up its use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, and predicted charges would be brought soon against the accused architect of al Qaeda's October 2000 USS Cole suicide bombing off Yemen, The New York Times reported Thursday

The report from Washington cast the move as ``an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility.''

It said that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was expected ``to soon lift an order blocking any new cases against detainees,'' a limit imposed Jan. 21, 2009.

The move would permit prosecutors to initiate new charges against detainees.

A Justice Department led review has already approved the war court prosecution of alleged Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri. The a former CIA captive was brought to Guantánamo in 2006. Military prosecutors had sought to charge him earlier under a Bush era format for military commissions in the suicide bombing in the port of Aden, Yemen, that killed 17 U.S. sailors and crippled the $1 billion Norfolk, Va., based Navy destroyer.

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