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Judicial Watch • Judge: 9/11 Operative Mistreated By U.S.

Judge: 9/11 Operative Mistreated By U.S.

Judge: 9/11 Operative Mistreated By U.S.

APRIL 12, 2010


The Clinton-appointed judge who recently ordered the release of a 9/11 mastermind acknowledges that he may very well resume terrorist activities after being freed from Guantanamo Bay prison.

Never the less, the Al Qaeda operative was mistreated and coerced at the military prison and therefore every incriminating statement he made while in custody must be disregarded, according to U.S. District Judge James Robertson. The order was issued a few weeks ago but was classified and no further details were available until now.

In a redacted version of the ruling made public this week, Robertson writes that there is “ample evidence” that Mohamedou Slahi, an Osama bin Laden confidant considered among the worst terrorists held at Guantanamo, was subjected to “extensive and severe mistreatment” during a three-month period in 2003. Therefore, proof offered by the government that Slahi gave material support to Al Qaeda is “so tainted by coercion and mistreatment” that it can’t support a successful criminal prosecution, according to the judge.

Slahi recruited most of the 9/11 hijackers and is considered a “high value” detainee by the U.S. His terrorist activities are extensive and detailed in the 9/11 Commission report, which explains how he recruited four of the September 2001 conspirators from the renowned Hamburg Germany cell. They include Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, the suicide pilots of American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, and United Airlines Flight 93.

Incredibly, Judge Robertson acknowledges that there’s evidence Slahi provided support to Al Qaeda and that he might renew his oath to the extremist cell upon his release from U.S. custody. “That concern may indeed be well-founded,” the judge writes in his order. Salahi fought with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, associated with at least a half-dozen known Al Qaeda terrorists and lived among the group’s members in Montreal.

“But a habeas court may not permit a man to be held indefinitely upon suspicion,” Robertson points out, “or because of the government’s prediction that he may do unlawful acts in the future — any more than a habeas court may rely upon its prediction that a man will not be dangerous in the future and order his release if he was lawfully detained in the first place.”

Slahi’s case marks the 34th time that a U.S. judge frees a Guantanamo terrorist since the Supreme Court ruled that detainees could challenge their incarceration in federal court.


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