U.S. plans to release American captured in Syria in September

10 Juin, 2018, 18:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pentagon plans to release US citizen held in Iraq, Justice Dept. tells court

The US government said on Wednesday it would release in Syria an American citizen detained on suspicion of being an Islamic State member, a move the American Civil Liberties Union compared to dumping him on the road in a war zone.

Iraq has good relations with Iran and Russia, Assad's main backers in the Syrian civil war, while also enjoying strong support from the US -led coalition.

These latest developments come after the government notified the court last night of its plans, which it said it would not carry out for at least 72 hours, to release the American citizen to Syria without any assurances of protection and without identification. Wyer claimed the government gave the man a choice of being dropped either outside a town or a refugee camp, but he apparently "would not agree" to the offer.

Justice Department lawyers representing the US military in the case made a commitment not to release the man until at least June 21st during an appearance in federal court on Friday, according to Dror Ladin, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the detainee in the case.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was named in the ACLU's lawsuit against the Pentagon's plan to release the American citizen in Syria. "Our fight for our client's right to due process has also become a fight for his right to life", Hafetz added. "We'll be asking the court to immediately intervene and ensure the safe release of our client", the statement continued. The ACLU, which has been challenging his detention, says this release is not safe.

"This is a country that the government itself has classified as an absolute "do not travel" threat, encouraging citizens to "draft a will" and 'leave DNA samples with [their] medical provider [s]' in the event they decide not to heed the government's warning".

Prosecutors have alleged that "by his own admission", the man joined Islamic State in 2014, attended a training camp "and worked for and provided support to" the group until the US -led military offensive in Iraq and Syria forced him to flee.

Government lawyer James Burnham defended the plan, saying the SDF is "a trusted local partner" of the United States forces and the area is "much better, much safer" than where he was taken prisoner by the SDF last September.

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Nine months ago, the man was turned over to USA forces after he was captured at a rebel Syrian Democratic Forces checkpoint in Syria and declared his American citizenship.

The SDF was alerted to the detainee, who arrived alone on foot according to the documents, because his style of beard and clothing, while typical for IS devotees, did not resemble the traditional garb worn in the region.

The Defense Department intends to release an American citizen accused of fighting for ISIS, according to a Justice Department filing Wednesday night.

"In addition, Petitioner was carrying over $4,000 in cash and a Global Positioning System device - both of which were recognised by the SDF as marks of an [IS] fighter, not a civilian".

"We are in uncharted territory", she said.

Yet "John Doe" was never charged, and he said he was not involved with IS when he was detained in Syria.

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld an earlier ruling from Chutkan that prevented the government from "forcibly - and irrevocably" transferring the man without allowing him to challenge his detention.



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