Obama meets with families on 9/11, USS Cole victims

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to spend some time today with families of 9/11 victims and the 17 sailors killed in the bombing of the USS Cole.

The meeting follows a decision by a senior Pentagon judge to drop charges against an al-Qaida suspect in the Cole attack, upholding Obama's executive order to halt terrorist court proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. The charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (ahbd al-ruh-HEEM' al-nuh-SHEE'-ree) marked the last active Guantanamo war crimes case.

Groups representing victims' families expressed anger at Obama's order, charging they've waited too long already to see the alleged attackers brought to trial.

But the Pentagon says new charges could still be brought against al-Nashiri and he will remain in prison for now.

The ruling gives the White House time to review the legal cases of all 245 terror suspects held at Guantanamo and decide whether they should be prosecuted in the U.S. or released to other nations.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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