Video shows prison life of al Qaeda ‘sleeper agent’

By David Edwards
Monday, November 9, 2009 9:44 EDT
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A newly released video shows the living conditions of a man convicted of being an al Qaeda “sleeper agent.” Ali Saleh al-Marri struggled to live for six years in a cell without a mattress. Al-Marri was sentenced to eight years in prison after making a tearful confession about his connections to senior al Qaeda leaders.

The video, taken at Charleston Naval Consolidated Brig and released to The Post and Courier, shows al-Marri pacing in his cell, complaining to his doctor about health problem resulting from his living conditions, and bantering with brig staff as they remove him from his cell. Charleston Naval Consolidated Brig is being considered to house detainees after the detention center at Guantanamo Bay is closed.

McClatchy reported that the video shows a snapshot of life in the brig that could house other terror detainees in the future:

Al-Marri’s lawyers provided the videos and logs to The Post and Courier. The videos were classified until a month ago, when the Defense Department released them for al-Marri’s criminal case. Portions were shown in a courtroom in late October, when al-Marri made a tearful apology about his connections to senior al-Qaida leaders and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The videos provide a window into the brig’s “Special Housing Unit,” a wing that was set aside for al-Marri and two other detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They’re coming to light as the Obama administration reportedly is poised to decide where to put detainees in the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility, with some reports suggesting that the brig in Hanahan is a leading contender to take at least a handful.

This video is from The Post and Courier, broadcast Nov. 8, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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