Even though he “pledged to do his [Bin Laden’s] bidding in the United States”
Ali al-Marri, the only prisoner considered an enemy combatant being detained on U.S. soil, has been indicted on charges of helping the terrorist group Al Qaeda, the Justice Department announced Friday afternoon.
The two-page indictment was approved by a federal grand jury in Peoria, Illinois on Thursday and unsealed Friday. It accuses Marri of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to Al Qaeda, as well as providing the support and resources.
If Marri is found guilty of both counts, he faces as much as 30 years in prison.[…]
The government contends that Marri is a “sleeper agent” for Qaeda who had met with Osama Bin Laden and pledged to do his bidding in the United States; he had arrived in this country on Sept. 10, 2001.
Marri’s attorneys have denied that he is an agent of Al Qaeda, and have challenged his detention. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, which was scheduled for oral arguments in April.
The government will now move to have the Supreme Court case dismissed, the Justice Department announced in its statement about the indictment.
Marri’s lead attorney, Jonathan Hafetz of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that “this indictment is an important step toward restoring the rule of law and is exactly what should happen when the government suspects an individual of terrorist acts. This case is now finally where it belongs: in a legitimate court that can fairly determine whether Mr. al-Marri is guilty of a crime.”
Having paid such perfunctory lip-serive:
He added, however, that the ACLU would oppose dismissing the Supreme Court case.
“We will continue to pursue Mr. al-Marri’s case before the Supreme Court to make sure that no American citizen or lawful resident will ever again be subjected to such treatment,” he said. “It is important that the Court hears Mr. al-Marri’s case and rejects, once and for all, the notion that any president has the sweeping authority to deprive individuals living in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights by designating them ‘enemy combatants.’ “