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Al Qaeda trainer to serve 34 months

Associated Press / February 19, 2011

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Guantanamo Bay prisoner who helped run an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan will serve 34 months in prison under a plea deal that requires him to testify against other terrorist suspects, the US military said yesterday.

A war crimes court at the US base in Cuba formally sentenced Noor Uthman Muhammed to 14 years in confinement, but the Pentagon will suspend all but 34 months under the pretrial agreement, said Army Lieutenant Colonel Tanya Bradsher, a military spokeswoman.

Noor, as the prisoner is known, pleaded guilty Tuesday to providing material support to Al Qaeda and to conspiracy as part of a plea deal that spared him the possibility of a life sentence if convicted at trial.

He has already been held nearly nine years at Guantanamo and does not get credit for time already served in custody.

The Sudanese prisoner admitted to working at the Khaldan terrorist training camp in Afghanistan beginning in 1994, to providing weapons instruction there, and to helping to run it. The terrorists who have trained there included Ahmed Ressam, who was convicted in a plot to bomb buildings in the United States during millennium celebrations, and convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, according to a stipulation that Noor signed as part of his plea deal.

Noor is the sixth prisoner convicted at the war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo. Four of those convictions have been plea bargains.

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