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...]
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U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Carr turned down Ali al-Marri's bid to be released on bond, despite the defense's offer of collateral worth more than $1 million and its proposal to keep him guarded in a safe house. Carr said he would issue an order requiring al-Marri be transported to Illinois, where he's scheduled to be arraigned Monday on federal charges of providing material support to terror and conspiracy.
Cheryl Savage, wife of al-Marri's lawyer Andy Savage, wife offered to secure a bond with a commercial property worth at least $1 million, but the Judge rejected the offer.[More...]
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In a 216 page opinion (pdf) written by seven judges, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed President Bush's ability to indefinitely hold someone captured on American soil as an enemy combatant, but said his executive power is not unlimited and those held must have the right to challenge their confinement.
President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.
But a different 5-to-4 majority of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., must be given an additional opportunity to challenge his detention in federal court there. An earlier court proceeding, in which the government had presented only a sworn statement from a defense intelligence official, was inadequate, the second, overlapping majority ruled.
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