GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Jurors considering a sentence for a former teenage al-Qaida militant got a stark message Thursday from a government-hired psychiatric expert: The last Westerner at Guantanamo is radical, angry and dangerous.
Omar Khadr was an extremist when he was taken to Guantanamo, where he was "marinated in radical jihadism" over eight years in custody and became a leader among prisoners, said Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist who analyzed the 24-year-old Canadian on behalf of military prosecutors.
"He's highly dangerous," Welner told jurors. "He is full of rage."
Khadr, who was 15 when captured by the US after a fierce firefight in Afghanistan in 2002, pleaded guilty Monday to five war crimes charges as part of a plea deal that spared him from a possible life sentence and calls for sending him back to his homeland after one more year in Guantanamo. The jury cannot impose a sentence greater than the amount set by the agreement, reportedly eight years, but they can issue one that is more lenient.