Accused al-Qaeda operative and former “enemy combatant” Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri pleaded guilty April 30 to charges of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization after reaching a plea agreement federal prosecutors that may send him to prison for 15 years. Prosecutors said that al-Marri, a “sleeper operative” for al-Qaeda who arrived in the country on September 10, 2001, will admit to conspiring with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to plan attacks on the US.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that the al-Marri investigation and subsequent guilty plea showed that “our criminal justice system can and will hold subsequent terrorists accountable for their actions.” He said that the al-Marri prosecution by a US civilian court showed that there was “no tension” between keeping “the American people safe and our civil liberties intact” and seemed to suggest that further such prosecutions are to be expected. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Al-Marri also agreed not to appeal any sentence, pursue a habeas petition or oppose his deportation to Qatar or Saudi Arabia after serving his criminal sentence. There has been speculation that al-Marri may ask for credit for time served, having been held at a naval bring in South Carolina since 2003. (Jurist, May 1)
See our last post on the detainment scandal.