U.S. says Guantanamo Bay inmate pleads guilty to terror charges

GUANTANAMO BAY: A Sudanese inmate being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba on Tuesday pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorism, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Noor Uthman Mohammed of Sudan is accused of being a principal trainer and in charge of all training at the notable Khalden training camp in Afghanistan. Among individuals who are believed to have attended the camp are participants of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a participant in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa and individuals who participated in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But Noor's defense lawyer, Maj. Amy Fitzgibbons, has condemned the connection made by prosecutors between Noor and those involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001. She said hundreds of people had gone through the training camp and added that Noor was there to "deepen his faith and get small arms training."

In a news report published the Miami Herald in September 2010, Fitzgibbons was cited as saying that Noor's time at the Khalden training camp was "similar" to Americans going with a group of friends "to a rifle range.''

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Defense said Noor had pleaded guilty in a military commission. He reportedly admitted, in open court, to providing material support to terrorism and conspiring to provide material support to terrorism.

"In all cases tried by military commission, the military judge has a duty to inquire into the voluntariness of the guilty plea before it may be accepted," the U.S. Department of Defense wrote in a statement. "In this case, the military judge questioned Muhammed at length and then indicated she was satisfied that the accused understood his rights, that the plea was voluntary, and that there was a legal and factual basis for the plea."

Noor's sentence will be determined at a hearing scheduled to begin on Wednesday.


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