Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — In a dramatic turn that silenced defence lawyers, a Yemeni poet accused of crafting terrorist propaganda argued to represent himself before a U.S. military commission yesterday, then admitted to being a member of al-Qaeda.
Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul, 36, was adamant that he had not accepted representation by his military lawyers.
Presiding officer Colonel Peter Brownback explained that if Mr. al-Bahlul chose to represent himself, he would not be allowed to see any classified evidence. Mr. al-Bahlul called that unfair, then declared, “I am an al-Qaeda member,” and started to speak about the Sept. 11 attacks before he was cut off. It was unclear whether the information can be used against him at trial. AP