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Former bin Laden aide pleads guilty at military commission

By the CNN Wire Staff
Sketch shows Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi at a Guantanamo hearing.
Sketch shows Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi at a Guantanamo hearing.
  • Former driver and bodyguard to bin Laden pleads guilty at Guantanamo Bay military commission
  • He admits supporting al Qaeda and conspiring to commit terrorism
  • Sentencing will take place in August

(CNN) -- A former driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden pleaded guilty Wednesday before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to supporting al Qaeda and conspiring to commit terrorism, the Department of Defense announced.

Sentencing for Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, 50, will take place in August, the department said in a news release.

Under questioning from the military judge, Air Force Lt. Col. Nancy Paul, al Qosi "admitted that he engaged in hostilities against the United States in violation of the laws of war," the department said.

It said al Qosi testified under oath that he followed bin Laden to Afghanistan in 1996 and spent six years providing "logistical support" to the al Qaeda leader.

"He admitted that he knew that al Qaeda was and is recognized around the world as an international terrorist organization," the department said.

Al Qosi was represented at Wednesday's hearing by three of the six lawyers defending him for free, according to the Defense Department. It said Paul "questioned al Qosi at length and then indicated she was satisfied that the accused understood his rights, that the plea was voluntary, and that there was a factual basis for the plea."

A panel of military officers, known as "members," will determine the sentence for al Qosi at an August hearing where the defense and prosecution can present evidence, the department said.