Arab News – April 30, 2005
Sgt. Hassan Akbar sentenced to death for Kuwait attack
By Barbara Ferguson
WASHINGTON, 30 April 2005 — A military jury on Thursday sentenced Sgt. Hasan Akbar to death for the 2003 grenade and rifle attack that killed two of his officers and wounded 14 others at an army camp in Kuwait during the opening days of the Iraq war.
The same jury last week took 2 1/2 hours to convict him of two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted premeditated murder. The sentence will be the subject of an automatic appeal.
Prosecutors said Akbar, 34, launched the grenade attack on members of the 101st Airborne Division in March 2003 at Camp Pennsylvania because he was concerned about US troops killing fellow Muslims in the Iraq war.
Akbar’s father, John Akbar, said his son complained in vain to his superiors about religious and racial harassment before the attack.
Akbar, who spoke briefly to the jury before being sentenced, did not explain if religion was a reason for the attack, but he did apologize for his actions.“I want to apologize for the attack that occurred. I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options. I also want to ask you for your forgiveness.”