Al-Marri Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charge

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, held for years as an enemy combatant and recently transferred to the Southern District of Illinois to face criminal charges, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Attorney General Eric Holder issued this statement on the guilty plea. In his words, among the "milestones we achieve today":

The conviction of an al-Qaeda sleeper agent captured in the United States;

-- The certainty that our criminal justice system can and will hold terrorists accountable for their actions, and;

-- The triumph of the exhaustive efforts of dedicated professionals at the Justice Department and many other agencies involved in this case.

He also engages in some tough talk:[More...]

Let this serve as a warning to all those who might do us harm: you will be hunted down, you will be held accountable. Nothing will prevent the full might of the American government and its people and allies from vanquishing those who might try to do us harm, wherever you are.

Al-Marri is facing up to 15 years in prison. One thing Holder didn't mention: That the U.S. held him without charges since 2001 in very unpleasant conditions.

Here is former President Bush's 2003 executive order (pdf) declaring al-Marri an enemy combatant.

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