Omar Khadr : biography
Omar Ahmed Khadr (born September 19, 1986) is a Canadian citizen who was one of the youngest captives and the last Western citizen to be held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Captured at the age of 15 years and 10 months on July 27, 2002 by American forces in the village of Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan, he was detained, interrogated and sent to Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. In October 2010, he pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to murder in violation of the law of war and providing material support for terrorism. Khadr was to be tried by a Guantanamo military commission tribunal, a venue reserved for non-American enemy combatants,, GQ Magazine, August 2007, p. 1 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114280522 but this was averted by the plea agreement.
He accepted an 8-year sentence, not including time served, with the possibility of a transfer to Canada after at least one year to serve the remainder of the sentence there, based on a diplomatic (United States/Canada) agreement.
Khadr was the first person since World War II to be prosecuted in a military commission for war crimes committed while still a minor. His conviction and sentence were widely denounced by civil rights groups and various newspaper editorials.
He has been frequently referred to as a child soldier.Gorham, Beth. Toronto Star, , January 18, 2008CTV News, ", April 1, 2008 He was formally identified as such by the head of the United Nations child soldier program in a letter to the Military Commission in October 2010., CBC News, October 27, 2010 The last Western citizen held at Guantanamo, Khadr was unique in that Canada had chosen not to seek extradition or repatriation despite the urgings of Amnesty International, UNICEF, the Canadian Bar Association and other prominent organizations.UNICEF, , February 5, 2008
In a post-interrogation report, Canadian intelligence authorities had initially determined that Khadr had little knowledge of his father's alleged activities, since "he was out playing or simply not interested".Shephard, Michelle. Toronto Star, , July 16, 2009 The stipulation of facts document, which Khadr signed as part of his plea-agreement with the prosecution held that Khadr had "extensive firsthand knowledge" of his father's supportive role in al- Qaeda operations.
On September 29, 2012 Khadr was repatriated to Canada. He will serve the remainder of his sentence in Canadian custody. Under Canadian law he is eligible for parole in mid-2013.
Khadr had accompanied three of the men he was staying with, as they went to the village to meet with several other militants. Neither of his parents was told about the meeting. His father shouted angrily at Abu Laith al-Libi following reports of the battle, for not taking care of his son properly.
From approximately February 2002, a team of American soldiers were using the abandoned Soviet airbase in Khost, Afghanistan as an intelligence-gathering outpost, where they tried to blend in and gain the trust of the local community.Shephard, Michelle. Toronto Star, , April 29, 2007
In the early morning of July 27, 2002, a team composed of 19th Special Forces Group, the 505th Infantry Regiment and a "militia", composed of approximately twentyMcLeon, Kagan, National Post, "One U.S. soldier was killed and four others injured in a fierce gun battle in a remote village in Afghanistan." Afghan fighters loyal to the warlord Pacha Khan Zadran and led by his brother Kamal, had been sent from the airbase on a reconnaissance mission.Dustoff Newsletter, , Fall-Winter 2002Baldauf, Scott. Christian Science Monitor, , July 29, 2002 The US forces search turned up no evidence against the occupants of the house.OC-1 CITF witness report, March 17, 2004
While the US soldiers were at the house, a report came in that a monitored satellite phone had just been used 300–600 metres from the group's present location.Vincent, Isabel. National Post, ", December 28, 2002. Seven soldiers were sent to investigate the site of the phone call. Led by Major Randy Watt, the group included XO Captain Mike Silver, Sgt Christopher Speer, Layne Morris and Master Sgt. Scotty Hansen, the latter three from the 19th Special Forces Group; Spc. Christopher J. Vedvick from the 505th, and one other man.Leavitt, Mike. "Utah State of the State Address, January 21, 2003
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