August 7, 2008

Guantanamo Detainee Gets 5 1/2 Years

Convicted terror supporter Salim Ahmed Hamdan Thursday received a 5 1/2 year sentence, far short of the 30 years-to-life sentence prosecutors wanted.

Hamdan's sentence includes the five years and one month he has already served, making him eligible for release in five months, The Miami Herald reported.

Hamdan was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 with two surface-to-air missiles in his car. He has been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2002.

Prosecutor John Murphy characterized Hamdan, a Yemenite, as an al-Qaida operative and key player in the international terror infrastructure.

His conviction Wednesday followed a two-week trial during which prosecutors tried to paint him as an integral part of al-Qaida but the defense insisted he was merely a civilian employee and was being made a scapegoat.