February 20, 2014 / 3:21 PM / 4 years ago

Saudi pleads guilty in U.S. military court to plotting ship attacks

FORT MEADE, Md., Feb 20 (Reuters) - The brother-in-law of a Sept. 11, 2001, hijacker pleaded guilty in a U.S. military court on Thursday to helping plan attacks on ships in the Middle East.

Ahmed al Darbi, a 39-year-old Saudi, entered the guilty plea in a hearing at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Speaking through his attorney Ramzi Kassem, al Darbi entered a guilty plea to judge Air Force Colonel Mark Allred.

Al Darbi, who was captured in 2002, had been charged with attempted terrorism, terrorism and attacking civilians, in allegedly plotting to blow up ships in the Middle East.

He is married to a sister of Khalid al Mihdar, who helped hijack American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the U.S. Defense Department in 2001.

The hearing at Guantanamo Bay was transmitted via closed-circuit television to Fort Meade, an Army base outside Washington.

Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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