Alexandra Kutner is currently at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on behalf of the Center for Policy and Research
Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi spoke in both English and Arabic as he answered judge Air Force Col. Mark L. Allred’s questioning on Thursday. Clutching his prayer beads, al Darbi, a Saudi Arabian national, pled guilty to having joined with other members of al Qaeda in planning and preparing attacks against civilian oil tankers in Southwest Asian Waters. While al Darbi entered Court Room 1 knowing he was going to plead guilty to the charges, he listened attentively to each question and the detailing of every element of his charges. Despite being captured during the actual attack of the MV Limburg, al Darbi acknowledged today that he was complicit in the plot that lead to the explosion. Al Darbi will likely spend between 9 and 15 additional years in prison, possibly in his home country of Saudi Arabia.
There has been speculation that Al Darbi will testify against Nashiri, accused of plotting the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, in his upcoming trial, but this has been neither confirmed nor denied at this time. Al Darbi is the sixth detainee to plead guilty at the military commissions and the first Saudi convicted of terror charges.
Alexandra Kutner, Research Fellow
Center for Policy and Research