Accused Silk Road Leader’s New Lawyer Defended Al Qaeda Operative, Guantanamo Inmate

A high-profile attorney for accused black market ringleader

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The man accused of running the billion-dollar online drug black market known as Silk Road has hired a high-profile lawyer whose previous clients include an al Qaeda operative, a Guantanamo Bay inmate and a taxi driver targeted by the NSA.

Ross Ulbricht hired Joshua Dratel to represent him in his New York trial, Forbes reports. The 29-year-old Ulbricht is charged with money laundering and narcotics conspiracy, and also faces charges for allegedly paying for two attempted murders.

Dratel’s previous clients include Wadih el-Hage, an al Qaeda affiliate convicted of helping orchestrate the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, and David Hicks, an Australian man accused of fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan who claimed he was tortured while he was detained at Guantanamo Bay. Dratel is also defending Basaaly Moalin, the Somali taxi driver who allegedly gave $8,500 to the al-Shabaab terrorist group behind the Kenyan mall attacks.

Dratel called the charges against Ulbricht “naked allegations.”