US Will Charge 'Combatant' in Military Custody

In policy shift, he will get civilian trial, not military tribunal
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 4:48 PM CST
Ali al Marri.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ali al Marri, the only alleged enemy combatant held on US soil, will be charged by the Justice Department, possibly for supplying material support to terrorism, ABC News reports. The move to a civilian criminal trial is an about-face from the policies of the Bush administration, which had insisted on a military tribunal. Al Marri was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks on suspicion of aiding al-Qaeda and has been in military custody ever since.

“The decision to charge al Marri is an important step in restoring the rule of law and is what should have happened seven years ago when he was first arrested,” a lawyer for the Qatari national said. Al Marri is also party to an upcoming Supreme Court case challenging his detention.