Military appeals panel confirms sentence of al Qaeda man

A US military appeals panel has rejected an appeal by al Qaeda propaganda expert Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Bahlul, confirming his life sentence.

Washington: A US military appeals panel has
rejected an appeal by al Qaeda propaganda expert Ali Hamza
Ahmad Suliman Bahlul, confirming his life sentence, the
Pentagon announced.

In his appeal, Bahlul, a Yemeni citizen, claimed that
none of the charges against him constituted war crimes that
could be tried by military commission.

He also argued that the charges against him violated the
US Constitution and his life sentence was "inappropriately
severe and disproportionate."

But the US Court of Military Commission Review found that
the "appellant`s conduct was more strategic and international
in scope, and he intended to inspire and motivate an untold
number of individuals to join or otherwise provide support to
Al-Qaeda," according to court documents.

Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale said late yesterday
the commission also reaffirmed that Bahlul was an "unlawful
enemy combatant" who provided "material support and resources"
to al Qaeda and engaged in hostilities against the United
States.

The appeals panel also ruled that Bahlul conspired with
the now-dead al Qaeda founder, Osama bin Laden, and other
members of the group, to commit murder and attack civilians
"in violation of the law of war," Breasseale said.

Bahlul was initially convicted on terrorism charges and
sentenced to life in prison by a US military commission
operating at a detention centre at the US naval base in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in November 2008.

PTI

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