The disturbing question: how many in the same area sympathize with the Khadrs? This is what the cocky war criminal will come home to after a paltry 8-year sentence for killing a Special Forces medic with a grenade. And his folks must be so proud.
“Doctor brands Omar Khadr ‘highly dangerous,’ cites strong ties to radical family,” from the Canadian Press, October 26:
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA Omar Khadr is an angry, bitter and remorseless jihadist with strong ties to his “al-Qaeda family,” a prosecution psychiatrist told a sentencing hearing Tuesday for the newly convicted Canadian-born war criminal.
Khadr’s mother, brothers and sister, who live in Toronto, have all expressed support for violent jihad, Dr. Michael Welner told the court as he described Khadr as the “white sheep” of the family.
During eight years in custody at the U.S. military’s infamous Guantanamo Bay prison, Khadr has “marinated in radical jihadism” and grown more devout, Welner said.
“He’s highly dangerous. It is his belief that he should not have been here for a day … and that it is everybody else’s fault that he is.”
The jurors also heard that the “charming” and “very gracious” Khadr is considered a religious leader by other inmates at Camp 4, where he is housed.
“He murdered,” Welner said. “He murdered an American soldier, which is the ultimate prize in Camp 4.”
The testimony capped a day in which court heard how, in the midst of a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002, a 15-year-old Khadr — convinced he was about to die — decided to try to kill as many Americans as he could.
The seven U.S. military officers listened intently as U.S. prosecutor Jeff Groharing read into the record the 50-paragraph agreed statement of facts that form the underpinning of Khadr’s guilty plea the day before.
The statement described how Khadr, with U.S. soldiers on his doorstep, tossed a Russian-made F1 grenade from behind a wall, dealing a mortal head wound to Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, who succumbed to his injuries 12 days later.
“Khadr threw the grenade with the specific intent of killing or injuring as many Americans as he could,” Groharing read.
The Toronto-born Khadr, now 24, was holed up with other members of a terrorist cell in a compound that was coming under American attack. They made a “pact” that they would sooner die than surrender to their western enemies. He was shot twice by a U.S. Special Forces soldier, and found badly wounded in the rubble of the compound, which had been hit by two 500-pound bombs. He was also blinded in one eye by shrapnel during the attack.
Khadr — who pleaded guilty Monday to five war-crimes charges, including Speer’s murder — admitted to being “happy” at the news that he had killed an American soldier.
Khadr also admitted to receiving terrorist training throughout his late childhood and early teens during travels with his father, an associate of Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The jury will decide what sentence Khadr deserves, although he won’t serve more time than the eight years set out in the plea-bargain. The panel hasn’t been told of the cap.
Part of that deal is that Khadr would be allowed to apply for a transfer to a Canadian facility after one more year in U.S. custody, something Welner said was problematic.
“There is no deradicalization program in Canada,” he said.