US disappointed by release of Dutch-Iraqi terrorist

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The United States is "extremely disappointed" at the release of a Dutch-Iraqi convicted in the US for conspiracy to kill US soldiers. Wesam al Delaema was released on Wednesday after a judge in Rotterdam reduced his 25-year prison sentence handed to him in the United States to just eight years. The ruling meant that he was immediately released because he had already spent the same amount of time in prison.

The American authorities are particularly annoyed because the court reduced the sentence partially on the grounds that Mr al Delaema had been held in the US in very poor conditions. He was isolated for two years underground without daylight in the DC Jail in Washington.

Mr al Delaema was the first suspect to face criminal charges in the US for terrorism in Iraq. During a trip to Iraq in 2003, he was filmed placing roadside bombs with members of a group calling themselves the 'Fighters of Fallujah'. The Dutch authorities arrested him in 2003 and he was extradited to the US for trial in 2007. Mr al Delaema returned to the Netherlands in March to sit out his sentence. The Dutch authorities are entitled to change the sentence according to Dutch sentencing standards.



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