Saturday, September 29, 2012
Youngest Guantanamo prisoner Khadr returning to Canada - reports
TORONTO (Reuters) - The youngest Guantanamo prisoner, Omar Khadr, who was a 15-year-old fighting in Afghanistan when captured in 2002, was sent to finish his sentence in his native Canada on Saturday, Canadian media reported.
A military plane carrying Khadr, who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier and admitted links to al Qaeda, left the U.S. naval base on Saturday morning, the Toronto Star newspaper and Canadian Broadcasting Corp said, citing unnamed sources.
Canadian government officials did not immediately return emails seeking comment. But Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was set to hold a hastily arranged media briefing in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
A U.S. war crimes tribunal in 2010 sentenced Khadr, now 26, to 40 years in prison, although he was expected to serve just a few more years under a deal that included his admission he was an al Qaeda conspirator who murdered a U.S. soldier.
Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included conspiring with al Qaeda to commit terrorist acts, making roadside bombs to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, spying on American military convoys and providing material support for terrorism.
Khadr was 15 years old when captured in Afghanistan in 2002. He was the first person since World War Two to be prosecuted in a war crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile.
Khadr was taken to Afghanistan by his father, a senior al Qaeda member who apprenticed the boy to a group of bomb makers who opened fire when U.S. troops came to their compound. Khadr was captured in the fire fight, during which he was blinded in one eye and shot twice in the back.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Bill Trott and Sandra Maler)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters