Osama bin Laden's bodyguard gets life imprisonment

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani,al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden's bodyguard has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Jan 26, 2011 12:18 PM IST
Copy Link
PTI | By, New York

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people.

Ghailani, who has spent the last six years in "black sites" and Guantanamo Bay, is the first detainee for the detention facility to be tried in a civilian court.

Due to the background of torture, the defence had asked for a lighter sentence but judge Lewis.

Judge Kaplan said that no matter how Ghailani was treated while in detention, "the impact on him pales in comparison to the suffering and the horror that he and his confederates caused," The New York Times reported.

"It was a cold-blooded killing and maiming of innocent people on an enormous scale," Judge Kaplan said.

"The very purpose of the crime was to create terror by causing death and destruction."

Ghailani was captured in Pakistan in 2004, and was moved last year from Guantánamo to Manhattan to be tried in civilian court. He had pleaded not guilty.

"This trial has been as divorced from any questionable practice that may have been engaged in by anybody other than the defendant as this human being is capable of having made it," the judge said, as quoted by NYT.

"I simply put all of that out of my mind."

Ghailani knew and intended that people would be killed as a result of his own actions and of the conspiracy that he joined," he added.

The transcript of an interrogation by the Feds, which was made public, last year, shed some light on how Ghailani came to be working for the Most Wanted Man.

He was told that the question, posed through an intermediary, had come from bin Laden.

Will you be my bodyguard? Ghailani did not immediately say yes, the document shows.

He said he would have to check with "the brothers at the training camp." When he had not yet responded two weeks later, he was asked again.

This time, Ghailani said that he "did not have a good reason not to join them, and thus he became a bodyguard" for bin Laden, according to the FBI's account, which the American media reported in 2010.

In court yesterday, Ghailani did not show any emotion when family members spoke, the newspaper said.

He declined to speak at the end.

Before being taken away he smiled at his lawyers, Peter E Quijano and Anna N Sideris, and hugged Sideris briefly.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • People rally in support of abortion rights Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Texas clinics halt abortions after state high court ruling

    The Friday night ruling stopped a three-day-old order by a Houston judge who said clinics could resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. The following day, the American Civil Liberties Union said it doubted that any abortions were now being provided in a state of nearly 30 million people.

  • Other places from which Google will not store location data include fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, and weight loss clinics.

    Google to delete user location history on US abortion clinic visits

    "If our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit," Jen Fitzpatrick, a senior vice president at Google, wrote in a blog post. "This change will take effect in the coming weeks."

  • Professor Ajay Agrawal, who was honoured with the Order of Canada in the 2022 list. (Credit: University of Toronto)

    Two Indo-Canadian academics honoured with Order of Canada

    Two Indo-Canadian academics, working on research to advance the betterment of mankind, have been honoured with one of the country's most prestigious awards, the Order of Canada. Their names were in the list published by the office of the governor-general of Canada Mary Simon. Both have been invested (as the bestowal of the awards is described) into the Order as a Member. They are professors Ajay Agrawal and Parminder Raina.

  • SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk.

    Elon Musk's Twitter hiatus, in 2nd week now,  generates curiosity 

    The world's richest person, Elon Musk, has not tweeted in about 10 days and it can't go unnoticed. The 51-year-old business tycoon has 100 million followers on the microblogging site, which he is planning to buy. Since April, he has been making headlines for the $44 billion deal and his comments and concerns about the presence of a large number of fake accounts on Twitter.

  • A Taliban fighter stands guard at a news conference about a new command of hijab by Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Taliban's reclusive supreme leader attends gathering in Kabul: Report

    The Taliban's reclusive supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada joined a large gathering of nationwide religious leaders in Kabul on Friday, the state news agency said, adding he would give a speech. The Taliban's state-run Bakhtar News Agency confirmed the reclusive leader, who is based in the southern city of Kandahar, was attending the meeting of more than 3,000 male participants from around the country, aimed at discussing issues of national unity.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 03, 2022