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Bin Laden propagandist convicted of war crimes

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- A military jury Monday convicted Osama bin Laden's media secretary of war crimes for creating an al Qaeda recruiting video that prosecutors argued incited suicide bombers.

Ali Hamza al Bahlul, about 40, of Yemen, did not react as the guilty verdict was announced. The Army prosecutor asked the jurors to return the maximum, life in prison. The jury was to deliberate Bahlul's sentence Monday afternoon.

He became only the second detainee among the 255 here ever convicted of war crimes before the special terror court President Bush ordered set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He will now join bin Laden's driver in a convict's corridor at the prison camps.

Unbowed by the verdict, a defiant Bahlul broke a self-imposed boycott on the proceedings just before lunch.

He launched into a 50-minute monologue that hailed bin Laden, berated the United States for the plight of the Palestinians and cast his conflict with the United States as part of a decades-long battle between the West and Islam.

''We have fought and we fight and will fight any government that governs America,'' he said, at one point waving a boat and an airplane, which he had fashioned from paper. ``You do not deserve to be the masters of the world, the leadership of the world. Today we are the only ones on Earth who stand against you.''

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