Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr is 'highly dangerous,' psychiatrist says

The Miami HeraldOctober 27, 2010 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Confessed teen terrorist Omar Khadr is a dangerous threat to the West, a "rock star" who has "been marinating in a radical Islamic community" inside Guantánamo's showcase camp for cooperative captives, a forensic psychiatrist hired by the Pentagon told a military jury Tuesday.

``He is devout. He is angry,'' Dr. Michael Welner said. ``He identifies with his family, which has radical leanings. He is not remorseful and he is not westernized although he is very articulate and smooth.''

Welner's testimony was sure to rattle Khadr's native Canada.

The United States intends to send the Toronto-born Khadr, 24, back to Canada next year to serve out the remainder of an eight-year prison sentence as part of a plea bargain.

But the jury doesn't know it.

The judge, Col. Patrick Parrish, told them only that Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes on Monday, finally admitting that at age 15 he hurled the grenade that killed Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., trained with al Qaeda and planted anti-tank mines targeting U.S. forces.

Now, first the prosecution then the defense are calling witnesses.

The seven-officer jury will deliberate a sentence that Khadr would only serve if it undercuts the plea bargain -- something prosecutors clearly sought to avoid with Welner's testimony.

``He's highly dangerous,'' Welner said. ``He murdered. He has been part of al Qaeda. And we're still at war.''

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service