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Obama signals major shift in US anti-terror policy

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After years of litigation that issue is currently before the US Supreme Court, which is poised to hear Al-Marri’s case in April. A decision would be expected by late June. But now, given Al-Marri’s possible transfer to the criminal justice system, the Obama administration is expected to ask the high court to dismiss the case.

If granted, the action would leave undisturbed existing legal precedents in the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upholding open-ended detentions of enemy combatants within US borders.

Al-Marri’s lawyer, Jonathan Hafetz of the American Civil Liberties Union, says he will oppose any government motion to dismiss the 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 in a statement. “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.’”

Parallels with Padilla case

Legal analysts are drawing parallels between the Al-Marri case and the earlier case of Jose Padilla. Mr. Padilla, a US citizen, had been held as an enemy combatant for three and a half years in a different wing of the Charleston brig. On the eve of his case arriving at the

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