The Department of Defense announced today that Noor Uthman Muhammed was sentenced to 14 years in confinement for providing material support to al-Qaeda and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization and terrorism.
A pre-sentencing hearing took place in a military commission courtroom at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During his Feb. 15 guilty plea, Muhammed admitted to serving many roles at the Khaldan terrorist training camp in Afghanistan beginning in 1994. He admitted to being a weapons instructor, member of the Council of Advisors to the Emir, and to overseeing the Khaldan terrorist training camp in the Emir’s absence. Muhammed stipulated that he entered into an agreement with Abu Zubaida and others to train recruits to commit acts of terrorism in support of al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorist organizations engaged in hostilities against the United States. He admitted that individuals trained at Khaldan during his tenure there included, among others, Mohammed al Owhali, a convicted participant in the U.S. embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya; Ahmed Ressam, a convicted participant in the Millennium Plot, the plan to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on 31 December 1999; and Zacarias Moussaoi, the admitted al-Qaeda terrorist, who was convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia and is serving a life sentence in federal prison.
Under the terms of the pre-trial agreement, Muhammed agreed to testify for the United States at any military commission, federal court proceeding, or federal grand jury proceeding against other individuals involved in terrorist activity. Muhammed has cooperated with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies and, as part of the pre-trial agreement, must continue to cooperate. In exchange for Muhammed’s guilty plea and promise to cooperate and testify, the Convening Authority agreed to suspend any period of confinement greater than 34 months. If Muhammed fails to comply with his promise to testify and cooperate, he can be required to serve all 14 years of his sentence.
Once the record of trial is finalized, it will be sent to the Convening Authority for Military Commissions for action on the findings and sentence. The Convening Authority may set aside the findings with respect to any charge, and he may reduce, but not increase, Muhammed’s sentence. After reviewing the record and taking final action on the findings and sentence, the Convening Authority will announce the sentence that Muhammed will serve.