The move places the last remaining "enemy combatant" in the US before a civilian court instead of a military tribunal.
The Justice Department is set to bring criminal charges in federal court against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, the last remaining "enemy combatant" being held in the US, according to news reports. He is expected to be charged with providing material support to Al Qaeda.
The Washington Post reports that Mr. Marri has been held by the military since 2003 without being charged, and the US Supreme Court was to hear the challenge to his incarceration this year.
[Marri] spent 5 1/2 years in a military brig in South Carolina. Indicting him in a federal district court in central Illinois could avert a Supreme Court ruling that would tie the Obama administration's hands in dealing with future terrorism suspects.
Lawyers for Marri said yesterday that they will press ahead for a Supreme Court hearing in April, hoping to use his case as a vehicle to formally repudiate the Bush administration's position that enemy combatants can be held indefinitely by U.S. authorities.
Justice Department officials are expected to argue that their decision to seek an indictment of Marri renders the Supreme Court case moot and that it should be dismissed, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is at a delicate stage.
Page 1 of 4