US says it plans to transfer accused American ISIS fighter from custody

The US intends to relinquish custody of an American citizen accused of fighting for ISIS within days, potentially ave...

Posted: Apr 18, 2018 10:38 AM
Updated: Apr 18, 2018 10:38 AM

The US intends to relinquish custody of an American citizen accused of fighting for ISIS within days, potentially averting a looming showdown over his detention that is calling into question the legal underpinning of the US war against ISIS.

In a filing entered Tuesday in DC federal court, the government said it plans to transfer the man, identified in documents only as John Doe, to the control of a foreign country, the name of which has been redacted.

Doe is a dual US-Saudi citizen and has been held as an enemy combatant in Iraq since September, when he was turned over to American forces by a US-backed militia in Syria.

The case, pending before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, has brought rare judicial scrutiny of the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which the government is relying on in part to justify Doe's detention, and how it applies to ISIS, a group that did not exist when that statute was passed. A Justice Department attorney said earlier this month in court that the government would likely move to dismiss the case as moot if Doe is transferred out of US custody.

RELATED: ACLU challenge in case of American detained as ISIS fighter targets 9/11 law

In a sworn statement included in Tuesday's filing, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department appears to say the foreign country agreed to accept Doe's transfer following "extensive diplomatic discussions" and that Doe did not consent to the transfer.

The State official writes that the potential receiving country is not likely to torture Doe upon arrival and has a "strong" and "sovereign interest" in the case.

The official also argues that an order from the court prohibiting or delaying the transfer "would undermine the United States' credibility with an important foreign partner that has agreed to this request regarding [redacted], including as a demonstration of its commitment to and value of [redacted] bilateral relations with the United States."

"Failure on our part to follow through promptly on [redacted] transfer could cause harm to our ongoing bilateral cooperation, including on future detainee transfers," writes the official, whose name, like much of the statement, is redacted.

Chutkan ruled in January that the government must provide 72 hours' notice to Doe's attorneys before transferring him to another country's custody so that they could mount an emergency challenge. The government's appeal of that decision is pending before the DC circuit court and was argued to a three-judge panel earlier this month. The government entered its transfer notice under seal late Monday, and a redacted version of it was made public Tuesday afternoon.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Doe in his habeas corpus petition, has until midday Wednesday to respond to the government filing. In a statement, ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz said "forcibly rendering" Doe to the custody of another country would be an "unconscionable violation of his constitutional rights."

"The government has no legal authority to detain this U.S. citizen in the first place, and it clearly lacks any legal authority to transfer him to the custody of another government. He should either be charged or freed, not handed over to an unnamed foreign government," Hafetz said.

Click to Submit Photo

 

 

Huntsville
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Florence
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 56°
Fayetteville
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 52°
Decatur
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 60°
Scottsboro
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22988375
Mobile16788315
Tuscaloosa10235140
Montgomery9978197
Madison922894
Shelby727463
Baldwin661569
Lee651765
Marshall437249
Calhoun422461
Etowah421450
Morgan407135
Houston371734
DeKalb336029
Elmore317353
St. Clair289142
Limestone279730
Walker275593
Talladega263635
Cullman239925
Lauderdale218042
Jackson212515
Franklin203231
Autauga203030
Colbert198731
Russell19283
Blount191125
Dallas186327
Chilton185832
Coffee173211
Escambia172230
Covington171429
Dale166551
Chambers134343
Clarke133617
Pike132713
Tallapoosa131387
Marion107129
Barbour10129
Butler100240
Marengo100222
Winston91913
Geneva8617
Lawrence83732
Pickens83618
Bibb82514
Randolph82016
Hale75830
Clay73612
Washington73412
Cherokee73114
Lowndes70428
Monroe64510
Henry6436
Bullock63917
Crenshaw60330
Perry5856
Fayette56913
Wilcox56412
Conecuh56013
Cleburne5518
Macon53020
Lamar4745
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 241513

Reported Deaths: 3076
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby35564562
Davidson30982333
Knox1239889
Rutherford11502113
Hamilton11497105
Williamson689756
Sumner5900109
Wilson457756
Putnam432955
Montgomery408052
Out of TN390636
Madison371180
Sullivan354046
Bradley351923
Washington332649
Sevier329921
Blount327334
Maury316437
Unassigned28378
Robertson257741
Hamblen242248
Tipton230922
Dyer216329
Gibson212342
Hardeman185433
Coffee183223
Trousdale17587
Obion173021
Greene165451
Bedford165020
Fayette165022
Anderson164614
Dickson163619
McMinn158934
Loudon158811
Cumberland158425
Wayne15847
Lawrence155618
Jefferson152920
Weakley151125
Carter149532
Monroe141928
Warren141510
Lauderdale140417
Henderson139825
Hardin137519
Macon130725
Franklin126317
Roane12577
Haywood125327
Overton118416
Hawkins117024
White115014
Johnson11277
Carroll112525
McNairy111127
Marshall11089
Rhea108317
Cheatham103111
Cocke101412
Bledsoe10104
Lake9803
Smith97613
Campbell9759
Giles93735
Fentress88910
Lincoln8523
Crockett82920
Henry77110
Hickman76715
Marion7419
Chester72114
DeKalb71117
Decatur64811
Grainger5664
Grundy54511
Union5233
Claiborne5146
Polk49213
Jackson4465
Humphreys4344
Morgan4317
Benton4119
Cannon4042
Houston40417
Unicoi3953
Clay39413
Lewis3752
Scott3625
Sequatchie3384
Stewart3179
Meigs3066
Perry2772
Pickett2627
Moore2592
Van Buren2011
Hancock1153

Community Events