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Airman charged with taking maps, photos


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An Air Force enlisted man who was a translator at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been charged with espionage.
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Capt. James Yee counseled Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
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Guantanamo Bay security is under investigation.
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(CNN) -- The charges against Senior Airman Ahmad al Halabi paint a picture of a man allegedly scheming to provide Syria with classified U.S. intelligence information.

The military charge sheet against al Halabi lists more than 30 violations, which include connecting his personal laptop computer to the military's computer system to download classified documents.

He is also accused of making illegal contact with the Embassy of Syria; attempting to deliver information regarding the movement of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and collecting 180 messages from detainees with the intent to deliver them to known enemies.

On Tuesday, Pentagon officials said al Halabi -- who worked at the U.S. Navy base where suspected al Qaeda terrorists and Taliban loyalists are held -- had been arrested and charged with espionage and aiding the enemy. (Full story)

Al Halabi's attorney, Air Force Major James E. Key, insisted his client is not guilty.

Another member of the military who also worked at Guantanamo -- Islamic chaplain and Army Capt. James Yee -- is being held on suspicion of espionage and treason at a stockade in Charleston, South Carolina. Yee has not been charged.

While most of the charges against al Halabi are related to taking photographs of the facility, documents related to missions and personal information about detainees, three charges stand out in contrast.

One charge accuses al Halabi of delivering unauthorized food, including baklava pastries, to detainees. Another charge accuses al Halabi of "executing a scheme" to obtain credit from seven banks by providing false information.

A third charge accuses al Halabi of denying any knowledge of Wahhabism, when the "statement was totally false."

Wahhabism is a strict form of Islam which requires a literal interpretation of the Koran. It is the dominant faith in Saudi Arabia and has gained popularity since the 1970s.

It is unclear what connection, if any, the Wahhabism has with the espionage charges.

The majority of the charges deal with al Halabi's alleged collection of classified information.

He is accused of taking and attempting to deliver "a copy of air-bridge mission information for military movement to and from Guantanamo Bay" along with operations orders; detainee movement orders; maps of the existing and proposed facility; and classified cell block information.

The charges appear to indicate that al Halabi was unsuccessful in delivering most of the information collected.

He did deliver "several e-mails to an unauthorized person or persons" with the names of detainees, their Internment Serial Numbers and the detainees' countries of origin and addresses.


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