A British citizen was sentenced Wednesday to more than 12 years in prison by a judge who said he supported the Taliban regime in Afghanistan while it was protecting Osama bin Laden. Judge Janet Hall sentenced Babar Ahmad to 12 years and six months but gave him credit for the 10 years he already served. Hall said Ahmad helped enable bin Laden to be protected when he was plotting the Sept. 11 attacks by supporting the Taliban. But she said Ahmad had no knowledge of the plot and there was no evidence he supported bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist group.
"You can't walk away from the fact that what you were doing was enabling bin Laden to be protected in Afghanistan and to train the men who actually boarded the flights that drove into the Pentagon and World Trade Center," Hall said.
But she imposed a much lower sentence that the 25 years sought by prosecutors, rejecting their claim that he posed a high risk of recidivism. Ahmad's attorney has said he publicly condemned the Sept. 11 attacks and deeply regrets his support for the Taliban.