Al-Marri To Be Indicted In Federal District Court

Cully Stimson /

According to various news outlets, including the Washington Post, al-Marri (also known as Abdulkareen A. Almuslam), the last remaining unlawful enemy combatant in the United States, is about to be indicted in federal district court in the Central District of Illinois. The news stories indicated that he will be charged with, among other things, material support for terrorism.

This is a significant development, and a clear break from the Bush administration’s policy with respect to al-Marri.

As readers of this blog are well aware, the Supreme Court had taken up the al-Marri case, and is currently scheduled to hear his case this spring.

Recall that President Obama issued a series of Executive Orders during his first week in office. One aspect of that flurry of orders required an analysis of the al-Marri case. If the news stories are true—that he is about to be indicted—it appears that analysis concluded that he could be safely tried in federal district court.

Many of us who have been closely involved in detention-related matters, both inside and outside of the government, are not surprised at this development. Just yesterday, I mentioned at a panel event at the National Press Club that I believed that the Obama Administration would attempt to resolve the al-Marri case before it was argued before the Court. (more…)