Friday, February 27, 2009

Grand Jury Charges Enemy Combatant With Supporting Al-Qaeda

Via -

Prosecutors today unsealed criminal charges against suspected al-Qaeda sleeper agent Ali Sahleh Kahlah al-Marri, setting in motion his transfer from a South Carolina naval brig into the custody of the Justice Department in one of the government's most closely watched terrorism cases.

Marri, 43, has spent the past 5 1/2 years in confinement in the military prison as the country's sole remaining "enemy combatant."

With the conspiracy and material support for terrorism charges unveiled today in federal court in Peoria, Ill., U.S. law enforcement officials are seeking to avert a Supreme Court hearing that could tie their hands in the handling of future terrorism suspects.

"This indictment shows our resolve to protect the American people and prosecute alleged terrorists to the full extent of the law," said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "In this administration, we will hold accountable anyone who attempts to do harm to Americans, and we will do so in a manner consistent with our values."


"This case is now finally where it belongs: in a legitimate court that can fairly determine whether Mr. al-Marri is guilty of a crime," said Jonathan Hafetz, attorney with the ACLU National Security Project and lead counsel in al-Marri's Supreme Court case.

If Marri is convicted, the Qatar citizen faces as many as 15 years in prison, authorities said.

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