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Thursday, March 01, 2012
Gitmo Plea Deal Offered to Former US Resident Linked to Al-Qaida

Gitmo Plea Deal Offered to Former US Resident Linked to Al-Qaida

A former U.S. resident and CIA "ghost prisoner" has pled guilty at a Guantanamo Bay prison court to serving as a foot soldier for al-Qaida.

Majid Khan, originally from Pakistan, grew up in the Baltimore area of the U.S. and graduated from a Maryland high school in 1999.

According to his charge sheet, the Pakistani native joined the terrorist organization following the Sept. 11 attacks. He allegedly delivered a large sum of money from Pakistan to Thailand to fund the 2003 terrorist attack on a Jakarta hotel where 11 people died and 80 others were left wounded.

On Wednesday in the military court, Khan admitted to serving the senior leadership of the terrorist organization and pled guilty to war crimes. He was charged with conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying, as well as murder and attempted murder in the violation of the law of war.

Through his plea deal, the 32-year-old agreed to serve as a government witness sharing information to prosecute other prisoners and might face a sentence of up to 25 years behind bars when all is said and done.

He has also agreed not to disclose of information about his capture or the conditions in the highly controversial military prison.

His sentencing has been postponed to 2016 to ensure he lives up to the deal.

"I'm making a leap of faith here, sir. That's all I can do," Khan told his military judge after he was asked if he understood the implications of his plea deal.

The plea deal, which could spare the former terrorist a life sentence, has stirred controversy but could ultimately lead to faster prosecutions of "high value" detainees.

"It's like organized crime. Sometimes you pick the lesser of the two evils and bargain with who you can," retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis who formally served as a Pentagon war crimes prosecutor told the Miami Herald.

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