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Friday, 5 April, 2002, 21:29 GMT 22:29 UK
Second 'US Taleban' moved to Virginia
Prisoners clad in orange jumpsuits at Camp X-Ray
Mr Hamdi will remain in military custody
An American-born prisoner captured in Afghanistan has been moved from the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay to a base in Virginia, the Pentagon said.

Yasser Esam Hamdi will stay in military custody until the Department of Justice decides what to do with him.


I wouldn't make predictions about what we do with him

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke

Officials are currently investigating Mr Hamdi's claim to US citizenship.

His birth certificate, which states he was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, appears to corroborate his claim.

"I think from the very beginning, there was a possibility in everyone's mind that he might be an American because he spoke English," said Army General Tommy Franks, who is in charge of the Afghanistan campaign.

"I can tell you that at the time he left Afghanistan we could neither confirm nor deny that he was an American citizen," he said.

Mr Hamdi will not immediately join the other American captured in Afghanistan - John Walker Lindh - who is now being held in a civilian jail outside Washington DC.

Mr Walker is being tried in a civilian court as US President George W Bush decreed that no US citizen should face the special military tribunals he authorised for suspects in the war against terrorism.

A golf cart is used to move a prisoner in Camp X-Ray
President Bush said no US citizen would face anti-terrorist military tribunals
Senior Pentagon officials cautioned that no decision had yet been taken on what to do with Mr Hamdi, including whether to bring any charges against him.

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said officials were fairly certain Mr Hamdi was a US citizen.

But she added: "I wouldn't make predictions about what we do with him."

Captured

Ms Clarke declined to say when officials started looking for the birth certificate or when it was found.

Mr Hamdi is reported to have been claiming for months that he was born in the US.

Both Mr Hamdi and Mr Walker were captured in December in an uprising in the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

They were among prisoners from Afghanistan's former ruling Taleban and Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network - accused of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

Mr Hamdi was among 300 suspected Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters transferred from Afghanistan to the US military's Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

See also:

04 Apr 02 | Americas
'US citizen' in Camp X-Ray
01 Apr 02 | Americas
Setback for 'US Taleban' defence
07 Feb 02 | Americas
'American Taleban' had Yemen hopes
24 Jan 02 | Americas
Profile: John Walker Lindh
16 Jan 02 | Americas
Walker Lindh's strange odyssey
14 Dec 01 | Americas
Enigma of 'American Taleban'
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