Mohammed al-Adahi, a 47 year old Yemeni citizen who has been held by the United States since 2001 on charges stemming from owning a Casio brand wristwatch, has been ordered released by a federal judge today.
Judge Gladys Kessler instructed the US government to “take all necessary and appropriate steps” to see to it that Adahi is released “forthwith,” though his failing health and ongoing negotiations with the Yemeni government make it unclear how soon he might be reunited with his family.
Officials claimed that Adahi was a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, though the sum total of its evidence was that the two met once and Adahi owned a Casio watch, which was somewhat similar to another watch used by al-Qaeda in IEDs.
Adahi’s defense was that in 2001 he did meet bin Laden once at an official gathering in Kandahar which he was compelled to attend, but that he had no other contacts with al-Qaeda or the Taliban during his brief visit to Afghanistan. He also admitted to owning a Casio watch, but insisted it was analog and therefore distinct from the watches used in the bombings.