Guantanamo terror suspect to face military commission



GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- The Pentagon has accused the third Guantanamo terror suspect to face a U.S. military commission in as many days of being a "key Al-Qaida propagandist."
But his father says his son is just a peace-loving man who enjoys writing poetry.
Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul, 33, of Yemen, was scheduled to appear today for a preliminary hearing on a charge of conspiracy to commit war crimes.
The hearings are the first step to military commissions, or trials, to be heard by a five-member military panel -- the first such proceedings since World War II.
Osama bin Laden's chauffeur, 34-year-old Salim Ahmed Hamdan of Yemen, declined to enter a plea in the first hearing Tuesday.
David Hicks, a 29-year-old Australian cowboy accused of fighting with Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime, pleaded innocent Wednesday.
Accusation
The Pentagon has accused al-Bahlul of being a "key Al-Qaida propagandist who produced videos glorifying the murder of Americans to recruit, inspire and motivate other Al-Qaida members" to attack the United States and other countries.
Al-Bahlul's father, Hamza Ahmed, told The Associated Press in previous interviews in Yemen that the family has suffered from his son's detention, both "psychologically and financially."
"He is cultured and peace-loving and he speaks English and enjoys reading and writing poetry," Ahmed said, noting his son used to send money home.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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