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Al Qaeda operative gets life sentence for killing soldiers, bomb plot

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A man convicted of participating in a 2003 attack on American soldiers in Afghanistan that killed two people and plotting to bomb a U.S. embassy in West Africa was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, who is known by the nom de guerre Spin Ghul, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn.

Harun refused to attend his sentencing hearing, as he had previously refused to attend his trial. A audio and video link was set up between Harun’s jail cell and the courtroom, but he was never visible on it and did not address the court.

Since his extradition from Italy in October 2012, Harun has insisted he is a “warrior” who should face a military tribunal rather than criminal proceedings. Cogan said that Harun had told U.S. marshals Friday morning, “This is not my court. That is not my judge.”

Harun was found guilty in March 2017 of taking part in an April 2003 assault by al Qaeda in Afghanistan that killed Army Private 1st Class Jerod Dennis, 19, and Air Force Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 24. He was also found guilty of plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nigeria.

Harun has said he is from Niger, though the government of Niger has said it does not consider him a citizen.

Dennis’s brother addressed Harun at Friday’s hearing, saying he mourned the loss of his brother but refused to hate Harun.

“Jerod is still with us, and I feel so sorry for you,” he said.

Harun’s lawyers had asked Cogan to impose less than a life sentence, but Cogan s

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