DC Circuit Appeals Court Upholds Denial of Yemini Detainee's Habeas Petition
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed the denial of a habeas petition by a Yemeni detainee, held since 2002. The case is Al-Bihani v. Obama (Circuit docket 09-5051). The opinion is here. Al-Bihani was a cook who went from Saudi Arabia, through Pakistan, to Afghanistan to help the Taliban fight the Northern Alliance. Along the way, he stayed at guest houses he says were Taliban-affiliated and the Government says were al-Qaeda affiliated
He accompanied and cooked for a paramilitary group allied with the Taliban, known as the 55th Arab Brigade, which the Court says included Al Qaeda members. After the U.S. entered the war in Afghanistan, the group was forced to retreat and surrendered to the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance held him until 2002 then turned him over to U.S. forces who sent him to Guantanamo.
ScotusBlog dissects the opinion and what it may mean for other detainees. Essentially, it holds that the President's power to detain non-U.S. citizens is not limited by international law, including the law of war. [More...]
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