An intriguing story from the Star-Tribune, with thanks to Jeff Lastname:
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — A lawyer for an American-born terror suspect said Thursday that a deal had been tentatively reached with the U.S. government that will send the man to Saudi Arabia and spare him prosecution after being held for more than two years without charge.
Yaser Esam Hamdi, who grew up in Saudi Arabia, could become the first American classified as an enemy combatant to renounce his citizenship to avoid prosecution.
“There is an agreement in principle for his release and it’s now in the hands of the government,” said Hamdi’s lawyer, Frank Dunham Jr.
John Novatsky, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said negotiations were still underway.
The 23-year-old was captured fighting with Afghanistan’s Taliban in late 2001 and held at the U.S. military outpost in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for three months before authorities realized he was a U.S. citizen. He was then transferred to a brig in South Carolina and later to the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia.
Saying he was forced to fight for the Taliban, Hamdi had challenged his status as an enemy combatant, a classification given to the 585 detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay that affords detainees fewer legal protections than prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.