Next to his wife and 4-year-old daughter, the most cheering sight yesterday for Army Capt. James Yee, a Muslim chaplain now no longer facing accusations of espionage at Guantanamo Bay, was the family of Shaheed Nuriddin of Olympia.

Despite Nuriddin’s own battle with cancer, “this family made justice a priority,” Yee said, gesturing broadly to Nuriddin, 51, his wife, Fatima, and their daughter, Hanan, neighbors who stood by his family while he fought to vindicate himself.

Yee acknowledged them after he was greeted at Sea-Tac Airport by family, friends and supporters with the Seattle chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Yee’s arrival, however, reminded them that his case is not completely over. Yee arrived later than expected after missing a plane because he remains on an airport “watch” list, even though the Army dropped all criminal charges against him last month, Yee’s lawyer, Eugene Fidell of Washington, D.C., said.

“Both he and his father have experienced this problem since the character assassination against him began last year,” Fidell said.

Yee, a West Point graduate, will soon resume the chaplaincy of a support battalion at Fort Lewis, his permanent duty station. He was deployed from there in October 2002 to help at Guantanamo, where al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners are being held…


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