Details of Khadr's crimes emerge in Gitmo court

BRYN WEESE, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:51 PM ET

GUANTANAMO BAY US NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Intimate details of Omar Khadr's war crimes were revealed as his sentencing hearing began.

Not only did Khadr know his father was financing al-Qaida — specifically training camps — with money he collected under the guise of charity, but Khadr also admits he thought of himself as a full fledged member of the terrorist organization.

In his nine-page, 50-paragraph guilty plea, which Khadr signed Oct. 13 and was read out in court for the seven-member military jury Tuesday, he admits he wanted to, "kill a lot of American[s] to get lots of money" from a $1,500 bounty and also revelled in killing a U.S. soldier in a July 2002 Afghan firefight.

"During an interview in October 2002, Khadr stated he felt happy when he heard that he had killed an American," the plea reads. "Khadr indicated that when he would get 'pissed off' with the guards at Bagram (Air Base in Afghanistan where he was being detained), he would recall his killing of the U.S. soldier and it would make him feel good."

Making and planting roadside bombs, it reads, was the "proudest moment of his life.”

Khadr also admits that in July 2002 in Afghanistan, he threw the F1 Russian grenade at a group of talking American soldiers, even though he didn't think they were coming to get him.

“Upon hearing the U.S. Special Forces soldiers, Khadr positioned behind a crumbling wall, armed and threw a Russian F-1 grenade in the vicinity of the talking soldiers,” it reads. “Khadr threw the grenade with the specific intent of killing or injuring as many Americans as he could.”

Click here to see a version of Khadr's signed confession in Adobe PDF form.

The prosecution put on the stand two FBI interrogators and one NCIS interrogator who interviewed Khadr here following his capture to reaffirm their portrait of Khadr as an unremorseful terrorist who doesn’t regret his crimes.

But despite the details in the guilty plea, Khadr's defence lawyers used their cross-examinations of the government's sentencing witnesses to paint Khadr as a very co-operative detainee who had changed his mind about his former enemies.

In fact, it was Khadr himself who told the U.S. Forces after he was captured where to find the 10 modified Italian landmines he and the al-Qaida explosives cell had placed along the road and how they were rigged. They were all safely removed.

Khadr pleaded guilty to his war crimes of murder, attempted murder, supporting terrorism, spying and conspiracy Monday in exchange for a reported eight-year sentence, with the last seven to be served in Canada.

The federal government is not commenting on whether there is a deal.

This week, the jury is hearing sentencing arguments from both the defence and prosecution and will ultimately hand down a sentence of their own for Khadr, which could range from time served to life.

If the jury's sentence is greater than eight years, it won't apply because of the agreed-to sentence in the plea bargain.

bryn.weese@sunmedia.ca


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