Washington, Nov.4 : An al-Qaeda propagandist who promised endless war against the United States was sentenced to life in prison on Monday by a Guantanamo Bay jury on 35 counts of solicitation to commit murder, providing material support for terrorism and conspiracy. Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, a 39-year-old Yemeni, was the second person to be convicted by a military jury, the Washington Post reports.
The jury deliberated for four hours before convicting Bahlul and took less than an hour to hand out a life sentence. Bahlul refused to defend himself at the weeklong trial and instructed his military attorney to remain silent throughout the proceedings, an order that the lawyer said he followed with great reluctance.
Bahlul spoke for about 45 minutes before sentencing yesterday and submitted to the court a 60-line poem that celebrated the attacks on what he called the "infidels' trade towers."
Three men have been convicted in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, two after jury trials and one, Australian David Hicks, after a guilty plea was entered. Hicks was sent home. There are about 255 prisoners at Guantanamo, and 17 of them are facing war crimes charges.