Obama faces court test over detainee

Obama faces court test over detainee

The fate of one of the youngest detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison is emerging as a major test of whether the courts or the president has the final authority over when prisoners there are released.

After a federal judge said earlier this month that the government’s case for holding the detainee, Mohammed Jawad, was “riddled with holes,” the Obama administration conceded defeat and agreed that Mr. Jawad would no longer be considered a military detainee. But the administration said it would still hold him at the prison in Cuba for possible prosecution in the United States.

On Tuesday, Mr. Jawad’s lawyers attacked that position, arguing that the government had given up any authority to hold him. “Enough is enough,” the lawyers said in legal papers that urged the judge, Ellen Segal Huvelle, to send him back to Afghanistan, which has requested his return. [continued…]

Arrests in terror case bewilder associates

Daniel Boyd was a man of rare conviction for these parts.

Rare because he and his family were Muslims in this quiet rural subdivision where the denominations generally run from Baptist to Presbyterian. But also rare for his intensity.

“How many Christians you see standing in the yard praying five times a day?” asked Jeremy Kuhn, 20, who lives across the street. “They just believed more than anyone else.”

But to the disbelief of Mr. Kuhn, the federal authorities say Mr. Boyd and two of his sons took their convictions beyond religious faith and into terrorism. They were among seven men charged on Monday with supporting violent jihad movements in countries including Israel, Jordan, Kosovo and Pakistan. An eighth man was still being sought, said a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Raleigh, about 20 miles north of here.

The men are charged with stockpiling automatic weapons and traveling abroad numerous times to participate in jihadist movements. There is no indication in the indictment that they were planning attacks in the United States, though prosecutors said they had practiced military tactics this summer in a rural county close to Virginia. [continued…]

Britain’s own Guantánamo

Piece by piece, the truth is finally coming out about Britain’s own Guantánamo Bay – Diego Garcia. Today the human rights lawyers group Reprieve began a legal case on behalf of Saad Iqbal Madni, who they say was transited through the UK-controlled Indian Ocean island as part of the CIA’s secret rendition programme.

Madni, whom Reprieve says was tortured in Egypt, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay after his stopover in Diego Garcia, has been released in Pakistan where – according to Clive Stafford Smith, the Reprieve director – he is “effectively crippled by his torture”.

For more than six years following the declaration of a war on terror in 2001, British and US officials adamantly rejected the existence of a rendition facility or secret CIA prison on the island, the site of a major British-American military base since the 1970s and long off-limits to civilians, reporters, and investigators. Dismissing reports about detainees on the atoll as “totally without foundation”, Britain’s then foreign secretary, Jack Straw, asserted: “United States authorities have repeatedly assured us that no detainees have at any time passed in transit through Diego Garcia or its territorial waters or have disembarked there.”

However, allegations kept accumulating. [continued…]

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