Khadr a ‘rock star’ in Guantanamo, psychiatrist testifies

October 27th, 2010 - 6:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Toronto, Oct. 27 (ANI): In powerful, sweeping testimony, a forensic psychiatrist has described Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr as a “rock star” at the US maintained detention camp.

Michael Welner, who studied the Khadr family by searching for videos on the Internet, questioned guards at the Guantanamo prisons and spent two days interviewing Khadr, painted a grim portrait of Omar Khadr as a unrepentant, dangerous, Islamic extremist who has been “marinated in the radical jihadism” at Guantanamo.

“He has murdered an American soldier, that’s the ultimate prize” in terms of status among the hardened Islamic jihadists in the Guantanamo prisons, the Globe and Mail quoted Michael Welner as saying in his testimony for the prosecution at the sentencing phase of the Canadian’s war-crimes trial.

Khadr, 24, could be freed soon after he returns to Canada a year from now if, as many expect, his Canadian lawyers win his early release based on the nine years he will, by then, have spent in U.S. custody, the paper reports.

Dr. Welner told the war-crimes tribunal that he was hired to assess Khadr’s “risk of future dangerousness as a terrorist and jihadist.”

The New York-based doctor is best known for his “depravity scale,” devised to assess particularly horrendous and violent crimes.

He described Khadr, as “full of rage … he’s bitter more than just angry … and he thinks it is everyone’s else’s fault that he is here.”

The prognosis for deradicalizing Khadr - who has a plea bargain deal that will allow him to return to Canada after one more year in Guantanamo - was poor.

“He wants to go to Canada,” which is no surprise, Dr. Welner said, because “there are no deradicalization programs in Canada.”

Defence lawyers are expected to present their own mental-health experts and the cross-examination of Dr. Welner promises to be compelling. (ANI)

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