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US military jury reaches verdict on alleged al Qaeda media director

[JURIST] The jury in the US military commission trial of alleged al Qaeda media director Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul [DOD materials] reached a verdict in the case Friday, but that will not be unsealed until Monday, when al Bahlul is present in the courtroom at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] prison. Al Bahlul, a 39-year old Yemeni citizen, went on trial [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Monday. He vowed earlier this year to boycott proceedings against him, saying he would attend only when a verdict was handed down or he was sentenced. The jury, composed of US military officers, deliberated for only 4 hours Friday before reaching a verdict. Al Bahlul is only the second detainee to go on trial at Guantanamo since the prison there opened in 2002. AP has more. The Miami Herald has additional coverage.

Al Bahlul, alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's personal assistant and media secretary, was charged [JURIST report] in February with conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and attacks on civilians, and providing material support for terrorism. He is accused of researching the financial impact of the 9/11 attacks and releasing the "martyr wills" of 9/11 hijackers Muhammed Atta and Ziad al Jarrah as propaganda videos. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of up to life imprisonment.

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