Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Middle East

US to release American 'enemy combatant' held in Iraq

By AFP 7/6/2018
This image released on Sept. 3, 2017 shows fighters standing next to a sign in Arabic which reads, 'Deir el-Zour welcomes you.' Photo: SANA
This image released on Sept. 3, 2017 shows fighters standing next to a sign in Arabic which reads, 'Deir el-Zour welcomes you.' Photo: SANA
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The US Justice Department announced Wednesday that an American alleged ISIS group combatant held in Iraq for over eight months would be released, potentially defusing a troubling detainee test case for the Trump administration.

After being blocked by a Washington court from handing over the dual US-Saudi citizen, identified only as "John Doe" to Saudi Arabia, the Justice Department said in a filing that it had decided to release the man in Syria, where he was originally taken prisoner.

But his legal representative, the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately said it would fight the release into war-torn Syria, which it called a "death warrant" for the man.

The release decision was an unexpected reversal after the government spent the months since the man was captured in September defending its power to hold him indefinitely, on grounds that he had been a "enemy combatant" in Syria, fighting for ISIS.

That made him the first American alleged member of ISIS caught on the battlefield, and the first known foreign member of a jihadist group taken into custody by the Trump administration.

Yet "John Doe" was never charged, and he said he was not involved with IS when he was detained in Syria.

The case raised questions about whether the Trump administration would introduce his case into the US justice system, hand him over to Saudi Arabia, or, as Trump had in the past threatened, send him to the Guantanamo military prison in Cuba.

Allowed to represent him, the ACLU successfully fought the decision two months ago to transfer him to another country — understood to be Saudi Arabia — without his agreement.

The court agreed with the ACLU's argument that that would violate the US constitutional rights of the man, who was born in the United States to a Saudi family.

In the filing Wednesday, the Justice Department said the US military had offered "John Doe" the choice of being released in an unnamed town in Syria or outside a Syrian camp for internally displaced persons.

But the man "did not identify a preference between the two locations and would not agree to the release" as proposed to him, the filing said.

"Accordingly, out of an abundance of caution, the department is filing this notice of its intent to release petitioner (Doe) in the town specified," it said.

The release would take place after a 72 hour waiting period ordered by the court.

In a statement, ACLU lawyer Jonathan Hafetz called the move "a disgraceful way to treat an American citizen."

"The government has effectively admitted that it has no reason to continue detaining our client and that he does not pose a threat. But, instead of offering a safe release, they want to dump an American citizen onto the side of the road in a war-torn country without any assurances of protection and no identification."

"What the government is offering our client is no release — it's a death warrant."

Comments

 
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 7/6/2018
When I was in college in Texas in the late Sixties, the ACLU was quite different. Two of my professors were members of it. They were of the content of character who wouldn't be caught dead near it today ... Since that time, it has moved extreme-Leftwards, taking actions based upon politics rather than the legal codes and a sense of Justice.
Mariam | 12/6/2018
They won't get their way in Iraq.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Renas | 4/25/2019 9:24:53 AM
Not Sulaimani police, PUk police. I don't know very much about NG, but the corruption in Kurdistan is really absurd. It is a bit ridicilous when...
High-level New Generation member arrested: Sulaimani police
| 6 hours ago | (1)
Kurdo | 4/24/2019 12:30:46 PM
jews actually saved turks from being molested and whiped out to protect the state of israel. aka ataturk. and his legacy is still there today. so our...
Mann | 4/25/2019 8:02:11 AM
@Kurdo If u love ur country and people so much, why u dont live in Kurdistan? Why u live in Europe? Its easy to talk like u, and live in...
Erdogan leaves parliament, blames HDP for not reciting Turkish anthem
| yesterday at 11:35 | (4)
John Bird | 4/25/2019 5:35:03 AM
Shaswar Abdulwahid appointed his sister Srwa as the head of the party’s public relations in Baghdad without considering anyone’s opinion within the...
New Generation dissidents demand separation of business, family, politics
| 18 hours ago | (1)
SOCIALISM XXL | 4/25/2019 4:20:32 AM
Only system that can secure the future of kurds and others in middle east is socialism. We tried everything else and the only positive feedback we...
Armenians in northern Syria establish armed force
| 20 hours ago | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

We will accept ‘all’ Yezidis return in the community: Top spiritual council 2 hours ago |

We will accept ‘all’ Yezidis return in the community: Top spiritual council

The statement does not say if they will accept more
US loosens sanctions for interacting with IRGC-linked entities 4 hours ago |

US loosens sanctions for interacting with IRGC-linked entities

The change allows US officials and businessmen to more
0.532 seconds