DC Circuit orders further review of Gitmo detainee release order

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Nov. 5 ordered further review of a lower court decision to release Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Olud Slahi, allegedly linked to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The order vacated US District Court Judge James Robertson’s decision to release Slahi and remanded the case, instructing the court to conduct further review to see if Slahi has abandoned ties to al-Qaeda, to which he swore an oath of allegiance in the early 1990s.

The government argues that Slahi can be detained under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) because he was “part of” al-Qaeda when he was captured. The issue was whether, by swearing an oath of allegiance, he was sufficiently part of al Qaeda to allow further detention under Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. The circuit court ruled that the record was insufficient to make a determination as to whether the US government has met its burden of proof to show that Slahi was a “part of” al-Qaeda. Slahi has neither been criminally charged for providing material support to a terrorist organization nor for any connection to the 9-11 attacks.

From Jurist, Nov. 5. Used with permission.