Indonesia prisoner makes first public appearance at Gitmo

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Chain link fence and concertina wire surrounds a deserted guard tower within Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp Delta at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      SEARCH "GUANTANAMO BAY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. ?? - RTSBT9U

Chain link fence and concertina wire surrounds a deserted guard tower within Joint Task Force Guantanamo’s Camp Delta at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 21, 2016. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

WASHINGTON — An Indonesian held for nearly 10 years at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has appeared for the first time at a hearing called to determine whether he should remain in detention.

The U.S. government says the detainee — Encep Nurjaman, who’s known as Hambali — was a leader of a Southeast Asia-based extremist group known as Jemaah Islamiyah (jeh-MAH’ is-lah-MEE’-uh) that’s blamed for a string of bombings in Indonesia.

Hambali also is alleged to have had links to al-Qaida.

He’s been held at Guantanamo since September 2006 and hasn’t been seen publicly there until Thursday’s review panel hearing.

The panel heard a statement read by a U.S. military officer acting as Hambali’s personal representative. The panel issued no decision on Hambali’s status.

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